Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand today and voice my concern along with my colleagues about this terrible organization and what it is trying to do to destroy everything we have all worked very hard to build up.
Unfortunately, discrimination, racism, and anti-Semitism remain serious issues that affect all societies to different degrees. Anti-Semitism can take different forms, and Canada continues to oppose its many iterations.
The working definition of anti-Semitism, as defined by the European Monitoring Centre for Racism and Xenophobia, is “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
In recent years, the world has continued to witness contemporary forms of anti-Semitism in the denial by some states and individuals that call for aid and justify the killing or harming of Jews. They also make dehumanizing or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such, or the power of Jews as a collective, especially, but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy, or of Jews controlling the media, the economy, government, or other societal institutions; accusing Jews as a collective of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group or the State of Israel; accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
Other forms of anti-Semitism would deny Israel's right to exist, its right to defend itself, and the right of Jews to undertake Aliyah and immigrate to Israel.
While it is fair to criticize Israel for the action of its government in the context of open and fair debate, as any other government may be criticized, it is not fair, in fact it is anti-Semitic, to deny Israel's right to exist.
It is evident that new forms of anti-Semitism are being revealed alongside older iterations in many countries where Jews, Jewish businesses, synagogues, and Jewish institutions continue to come under attack. This can often occur in violent form, as we have witnessed in the attacks against the Jewish Museum in Brussels, in May 2014, and the attack against the Great Synagogue in Copenhagen just over a year ago.
In fact, a 2015 study by the widely respected Pew Research Centre reported that there has been a marked increase in the number of countries where members of the Jewish community were harassed. In 2013, the harassment of Jews, either by government or social groups, was found in 39% of countries, which was a seven year high.
Discrimination and intolerance causes suffering, spreads division, and contributes to a climate of fear and stigmatization. Anti-Semitism, given its long history, is a particularly pernicious and chronic form of discrimination. Actions motivated by intolerance have no place in any country and are in opposition to values that we in this House hold so dear, such as pluralism, diversity, and inclusion. Canada supports efforts to combat all forms of racism and discrimination.
However, the Government of Canada understands that hatred can manifest itself in specific forms that requires differing degrees of responses.
Anti-Semitism is indicative of a unique form of racism, one whose extreme manifestations has led to some of the darkest hours in the history of humankind. In January 27, 2016, all parties in this House remembered the atrocities and crimes against humanity committed against the Jewish people during the Holocaust.
As we commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and as the Minister of Foreign Affairs indicated in his statement on January 27, we must remember the six million Jews and millions of other victims of the Holocaust, and we must be ever mindful of the dangers of anti-Semitism and intolerance that continues to persist in this world today.