Anti-Semitism: Montreal MP Anthony Housefather appointed special advisor

Anti-Semitism: Montreal MP Anthony Housefather appointed special advisor
Anti-Semitism: Montreal MP Anthony Housefather appointed special advisor

The Prime Minister’s Office announced his appointment to the post on Friday, saying Mr. Housefather would advise the prime minister and cabinet and work with the Jewish community.

Mr. Housefather, who is Jewish, has spoken out about the rise of anti-Semitism in Canada since the current conflict between Israel and Hamas began last October.

Four months ago, the MP said he was considering leaving the Liberal caucus. (new window) after the adoption of a New Democratic motion that left him feeling frustrated and isolated in his party.

After this period of reflection, he said he would remain a Liberal and that Mr. Trudeau had asked him to work with the government to resolve the problem. massif of anti-Semitism in Canada today.

Mr. Housefather then helped launch a parliamentary committee study of anti-Semitism on college campuses in May.

Anthony Housefather himself has been the target of anti-Semitic hate, including earlier this week when posters were plastered on billboards in Montreal calling him a Nazi, equating Zionism with terrorism and telling him to leave Canada.

Mr Housefather welcomed his appointment, which will include working with Deborah Lyons, the federal government’s special envoy to combat anti-Semitism.

While we cannot make anti-Semitism disappear, all levels of government, universities and police services can take concrete steps to make Jewish Canadians feel safer in this country.

A motion that divided the Liberal caucus

The original New Democratic Party (NDP) motion demanded that Canada officially recognize the State of Palestine.

Mr. Housefather had called the wording one-sided and the motion caused significant divisions among MPs, including within the Liberal caucus.

The motion that was finally adopted was revised (new window) to be very close to current Canadian foreign policy, including the recognition that the creation of a Palestinian state would be part of a two-state solution within the Middle East peace process.

Language was added calling on Hamas to lay down its arms and clearly identify the militant group as a recognized terrorist organization. The motion also included a call for Canada to stop approving arms export transfers to Israel.

At the time, Mr Housefather acknowledged that the last-minute changes had improved the motion, but said he could not support it in part because the changes came so late in the process that they had not been fully debated.

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