Canadian PM unveils $6.4 million initiative to beef up Jewish security

B’nai Brith Canada reported more than 250 anti-Semitic incidents in May alone, including assaults, harassment, vandalism and rhetoric

By World Israel News Staff

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday unveiled an initiative to help Jewish institutions beef up security with a government investment of $6.4 million.

He was addressing the National Summit on Anti-Semitism, a gathering organized by the federal government.

“Anti-Semitism isn’t a problem for the Jewish community to solve alone, it’s up to everyone to take on this challenge,” Trudeau said in a video address.

“As Jewish Canadians, too many of you have told me you are feeling isolated and vulnerable. You’ve shared that this spike in violence and this harassment has left people in fear to publicly and proudly live Jewish lives,” said the prime minister.

Trudeau said the financing would “enhance the security of synagogues, Jewish schools, and community institutions across the country,” which he said constituted the largest investment in a given year in the history of the Security Infrastructure Program.

The anti-Semitism watchdog B’nai Brith Canada reported more than 250 anti-Semitic incidents in May alone, including assaults, harassment, vandalism and rhetoric, many by Palestinian supporters. Demonstrations that month against the Gaza war featured swastikas, Nazi salutes and Israeli flag burnings.

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In 2019, the Canadian government adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism, and in 2020, Irwin Cotler, a retired Canadian Jewish politician, lawyer and human rights advocate, was appointed Canadian Special Envoy to Combat Anti-Semitism.

Cotler, who also addressed the summit by video, raised concerns that “Jews are increasingly characterized as part of the oppressor in the intersectionality discourse, and where the demonization of Israel has reverberated back to the demonization of Jews.”