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Canadian MPs Attacked On Twitter

Last week, Dimitri Lascaris tweeted an attack on two Jewish MPs, Michael Levitt and Anthony Housefather, suggesting that they were disloyal to Canada, placing the interests of “apartheid Israel” above those of the country. This is an texample of Anti-Semitism as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

tweet from Dimitri Lascaris (@dimitrilascaris) reading "Apparently, Liberal MPs Anthony Housefather and Michael Levitt are more devoted to apartheid Israel than to their own Prime Minister and their own colleagues in the Liberal caucus. @AHousefather @LevittMichael #cdnpoli @justintrudeau @liberal_party #apartheidIsrael #cdnpoli"

Lascaris is a board member of the pro-BDS group “Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East,” which regularly peddles its anti-Israel agenda on Parliament Hill. A few weeks ago, he orchestrated an anti-Israel protest in the heart of Toronto’s Jewish community in Bathurst Manor.

Many parties on Parliament Hill spoke out against this slander. Within 48 hours, Prime Minister Trudeau, Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May — along with various other MPs — issued statements denouncing the anti-Semitic attack and defending Levitt and Housefather.

Tweet from Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) reading "Vile anti-Semitic smears like this are completely unacceptable, and should always be called out. Thank you @LevittMichael and @AHousefather for standing up to this, and for everything you do for your communities and our country."

Tweet from Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) reading "It's shameful to see two MPs subjects to such anti-Semitism, accused of dual loyalties, simply because they're Jewish & support Israel. The entire @CPC_HQ caucus & I stand w/ our colleagues across the aisle, proudly supportive of all Jewish Canadians."

Tweet from Jagmeet Singh (@theJameetSingh) reading "Antisemitism has no place in Canada. I know what it's like to experience racism & discrimination, and to have my loyalty to Canada questioned. @LevittMichael and @AHousefather, I stand with you today."

Tweet from Elizabeth May (@ElizabethMay) reading "Just saw the attack on you both. So unacceptable. Your loyalty to Canada is unquestioned. See you soon. Sending love. @AHousefather @LevittMichael"

Elected leaders at the highest levels increasingly recognize that hatred of Israel goes hand-in-hand with hatred of Jews. It is a powerful statement to have federal party leaders unite, despite their many other differences, in defense of our community when we are targeted for anti-Semitism, wrote Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA).

“History teaches us just how dangerous it is when broader society ignores or dismisses anti-Semitism,” he wrote in a letter to supporters. “I am relieved that wasn’t the case this week on Parliament Hill. But this level of support for our community — and understanding of anti- Semitism — doesn’t happen overnight. It is the result of years of briefings, our MP missions to Israel and ongoing conversations that don’t always make for headlines but make a long-term difference.”

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