Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Wednesday apologized to Jewish refugees during World War II but as part of his statement on the issue and the rising of antisemitism, he unleashed an attack against the peaceful Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian human rights.
He apologized in the House of Commons for Canada’s decision to turn away a ship carrying Jewish refugees during the second world war.
MS St. Louis, a German liner was carrying more than 900 Jews fleeing Nazi persecution. They have been previously rejected asylum in Cuba and the United States. After Canada turned them down, the refugees were forced to return to Europe. More than 250 among the 900 refugees later died in the Holocaust.
Trudeau said, “...the Liberal government of Mackenzie King was unmoved by the plight of these refugees. Despite the desperate plea of the Canadian Jewish community, despite the repeated calls by the government’s two Jewish caucus members, despite the many letters from concerned Canadians of different faiths, the government chose to turn its back on these innocent victims of Hitler’s regime.”
While apologizing, Trudeau condemned the “callousness of Canada's response” and said, “We are sorry for not apologizing sooner."
After apologizing for the historic injustice to Jewish refugees, the prime minister went on to condemn modern-day anti-semitism and how Jewish people still suffer hate crimes, a statement in which he also attacked the pro-Palestinian movement BDS.
“According to the most recent figures, 17 percent of all hate crimes in Canada target Jewish people – far higher per capita than any other group. Holocaust deniers still exist. Anti-Semitism is still far too present. Jewish institutions and neighborhoods are still being vandalized with swastikas,” argued Trudeau before condemning BDS and upholding Israel’s “right to exist”.
“Jewish students still feel unwelcome and uncomfortable on some of our college and university campuses because of BDS-related intimidation. And out of our entire community of nations, it is Israel whose right to exist is most widely – and wrongly – questioned.”
Canada and Israel have shared strong relation for decades and Trudeau’s so-called “progressive administration” has maintained the same stance with the nation occupying Palestinian territory and grossly violating each and every human right of Palestinians.