Saturday, May 21st | 20 Iyyar 5782

May 10, 2021 12:29 pm

Amid Palestinian Violence and Terror, Canada and the EU Must Stand With Israel

avatar by Avi Benlolo


A Palestinian man prays as Israeli police gather during clashes at the compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque, known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, amid tension over the possible eviction of several Palestinian families from homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, in Jerusalem’s Old City, May 7, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Ammar Awad/File Photo

As Israel is rocked by violent Palestinian protests in Jerusalem and in various parts of the country, Canada and the European Union (EU) must stand with its friend and ally.

As a democracy, Israel preserves and protects the right of all its citizens to worship freely, and without violence. Over the last number of days, a number of extremist Palestinian worshipers and rioters at the Al-Aqsa mosque began throwing rocks and molotov cocktails at police officers, injuring dozens, and trying to incite further violence. No nation would tolerate this behavior.

At the same time, rockets from Gaza (which is run by Hamas) are being launched at Israeli towns and cities, impacting and targeting innocent citizens who live in the southern part of the country. This follows a number of terrorist-related incidents, including — just a few days ago — shooting attacks by Palestinians against Israeli civilians. A 19 year-old Jewish student was murdered in one attack. And Israeli security forces recently stopped another major, planned Palestinian terror attack.

Canada issued a press statement on May 8th raising concern about the escalation, but not denouncing Palestinian violence and the injuries sustained by the Israeli police services. Canada is a close friend of Israel and its commitment to peace and a two-state solution is welcomed.

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At the same time, Canada and our EU partners must take a principled stand in support of Israel and denounce the unfounded Palestinian rioting and violence.

In recent days, Canada has taken the moral high road by declaring it would boycott the anti-Israel Durban IV conference, joining America and Australia. This is an important and ethical stand against antisemitism and unfair bullying of Israel. Similarly, the world community must pressure the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to immediately cease and desist all incitement and violence against Israel, and help calm the situation.

Avi Benlolo is a Canadian human rights activist, and the former president and CEO of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center.

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