The Trudeau government is hosting an antisemitism summit Wednesday to hear concerns from Canada's Jewish community regarding a rise in antisemitic hatred.
CTV News reports that the summit will be attended by various politicians, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, liberal ministers, opposition leaders, premiers, and mayors.
Leaders from Canada's Jewish community will also be attending the summit, including Irwin Cotler, Canada's special envoy for preserving Holocaust remembrance and combating antisemitism. Cotler says he plans to bring up the fact that antisemitism is not just on the rise in Canada, but also around the world.
Cotler says Jewish people are being targeted and threatened, and synagogues, memorials and Jewish institutions are being vandalized. Data from Jewish human rights organization B'nai Brith Canada backs Cotler's claims, having recorded 2,610 antisemitic incidents in 2020. This makes it the fifth year in a row where the record for antisemitic incidents is broken.
Canada and the world saw a series of antisemitic attacks during recent escalations in the conflict between Israel and Palestinians, as many anti-Israel protests took place across the country. In Montreal, pro-Palestine protestors threw rocks at Jewish counterprotestors, while in Toronto an elderly Jewish man was assaulted by an anti-Israel mob.
Cotler plans to propose a 10-point action plan aimed at fighting antisemitism in Canada. He told The Canadian Press that "the summit is as timely as it is necessary, but it will only be effective if, in fact, we implement an action plan."
His plan will call on a national strategy to be implemented to fight antisemitism, which includes enhanced security and protections for Jewish institutions like synagogues, schools, community centres and memorial sites.
Cotler adds that Canada can learn from the successes and failures of European countries who have come up with plans to fight antisemitism.
The Trudeau government also plans to hold a national summit on Islamophobia later this week. There is however no plan to hold a national summit on anti-Christian hate, despite at least 18 churches being torched and over 26 vandalized.