NOTE: A previous version of this article mischaracterized a quote from B'nai Brith Canada. This has been fixed.
Controversy is surrounding York Centre Liberal candidate Ya’ara Saks as blogs and social media activities reveal that the Liberal candidate believes Israel "delegitimizes" non-Jews and supports boycotts.
York Centre’s byelection, scheduled for October 26, was sparked upon Liberal MP Michael Levitt’s resignation, leaving his seat vacant. He did this with the intention of becoming the President and CEO of the Canadian Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies.
With almost 14 percent of York Centre identifying as Jewish, Saks' stance on Israel comes as a shock voters.
Saks is Jewish herself, receiving her Master’s Degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in International Relations and Diplomacy. One voter, who wanted to be referred to simply as "Misha" for the sake of Anonymity, says it is not a given that Jewish individuals are inherently pro-Israel and some are vehemently against the Jewish state.
In her blog, Saks attacks Israel, calling the country “deeply racist towards its minorities,” and one that “does not see itself as a light and shelter or future home to asylum seekers fleeing war." Saks also believes Israel is corrupt and delegitimizes non-Jews.
Misha says he was particularly offended by Saks' notion that Israel is racist.
"Ya'ara has been touting her credentials as someone who used to work and live in Israel throughout the campaign to appeal to Jewish voters,” said Misha. “It's really a betrayal of us that she didn't mention her deep contempt for everything that makes Israel, Israel."
He continues stating, "she is spreading lies and falsehoods about the country, such as non-Jews being second class citizens. Muslims in Israel have more rights than in any Muslim country."
Michael Mostyn, CEO of B'nai Brith Canada, told The Post Millennial: "York Centre has one of the largest Jewish and pro-Israel communities of any riding in the country, and we expect that whoever is elected to represent this riding will continue the practice of opposing anti-Semitism and standing up in Parliament for Israel's security and prosperity."
Other comments show Saks calling Airbnb to boycott listings in Israel.
One post shows the Liberal candidate supporting condemnation of Israel at the UN.
The Post Millennial reached out to the Ya'ara Saks campaign for comment but did not receive any reply by the time of publication.
The Post Millennial also reached out to the other candidates for comment.
"Ya’ara Saks has a deeply problematic history of hostility to the Jewish state, which is documented on her personal blog and her social media feeds," stated CPC Candidate, Julius Tiangson.
Tiangson is the Conservative running against Saks in York Centre, and is a strong supporter of Israel.
"My campaign and I condemn her anti-Israel comments. We call upon all Canadians who support Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East and Canada’s most reliable ally in the region, to stand with us against the profoundly anti-Israel views expressed by Saks. These are not the values of York Centre," he concluded.