OFIP STATEMENT ON GROWING RACIAL INTOLERANCE IN CANADA
The Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine notes with concern the rise of intolerance and racism in
Canadian society, including antisemitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Palestinianism.
Tolerance and multiculturalism and freedom of expression are valuable Canadian values. Threats
made against individuals or groups because of their religious or political beliefs are not only
illegal, but morally unacceptable.
There have many reports of antisemitic acts including threatening phone calls toward Jewish
religious leaders, desecration of Jewish synagogues and even incidents involving a Molotov
cocktail thrown at a Jewish school in Montreal. These are unacceptable in Canadian society. It
does not matter whether such acts are motivated by white nationalism or by anger at Israel’s
genocidal attack on Palestinians in Gaza or the West Bank, they are misdirected, morally wrong
and entirely unacceptable.
At the same time, there have been reports of violence against Muslims. Three years ago a
Muslim family was killed in London Ontario. Members of the Palestinian community in Ottawa
have been the object of threats and intimidation which have been reported to the police.
The Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine is opposed to any form of racism. We oppose any acts
which aim to instill fear in any Canadian for his or her religious or political views. We feel it is
the responsibility of community leaders to condemn any racist acts or threats directed at any
individual or group.
We support the right of all Canadians to dress as they wish, to use social media or
demonstrations to promote their point of view and to attend schools, community centres or
places of worship unmolested and without fear.
Nonviolent actions aimed at criticizing the State of Israel for its treatment of Palestinians, or
criticizing the Canadian government for its lack of action are entirely legitimate. We will
continue to urge the Canadian government to apply in practice its claimed adherence to and
support for, human rights and international law.