Mississauga’s mayor has denounced a rally in her city at which Jews were called “dogs.”
In a tweet on July 7, Mayor Bonnie Crombie stated: “I stand with our city’s Jewish community in strongly condemning these hateful and disturbing anti-Semitic comments. Hate has no place in Mississauga. We’re a welcoming city that promotes unity, understanding and acceptance. Those who seek to divide us are not welcome here.”
B’nai Brith Canada has filed a hate crimes complaint with Peel Regional Police after protesters chanted “hateful” antisemitic slogans at the anti-Israel protest in Mississauga on July 4.
Peel Regional Police spokesperson Cst. Bancroft Wright confirmed that a complaint was received from B’nai Brith.
About 100 protesters gathered at Celebration Square in Mississauga last Saturday, ostensibly to condemn Israel’s planned annexation of parts of the West Bank.
A video of the rally shows attendees chanting in Arabic: “Palestine is our country, and the Jews are our dogs!” Later, protesters are heard to promise to “sacrifice our soul and blood for Palestine” and proclaim that “martyrs by the millions march to Jerusalem.”
B’nai Brith said it has independently verified the translation.
The organization said it has discovered that the co-organizers of the rally, and many of its attendees, were high school students. It said it has identified one of the co-organizers but has not named her because she is a minor.
“The display of antisemitism in Canada’s public squares is totally unacceptable,” B’nai Brith CEO Michael Mostyn said in a news release.
“Opposition to Israeli policy can never be used as an excuse to demean Jews as ‘dogs’ or to threaten violence against them.”
Mostyn said B’nai Brith has reached out to the high school attended by one of the rally’s organizers, “and hope to visit at an appropriate time in order to educate students about the dark places to which rhetoric of this sort can lead.”
In response to the Mississauga rally, Barbara Bank of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs stated:
“Enough is enough. It is outrageous that in 2020 people feel comfortable using dehumanizing and exclusionary language targeting the Jewish community. The days of signs stating “No Dogs and No Jews” at establishments in the GTA should be firmly behind us.
“There is a lot of room for legitimate discussion about the State of Israel and the politics of the Middle East, but our community will not accept the use of Israel as a pretense to call Jews ‘dogs.’”
Bank said it’s time for Ontario lawmakers to finalize the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, contained in a bill currently before the legislature.
Click here to see a video of the rally: