Trudeau calls for Canadians to 'stand up against antisemitic attitudes' in apology

Trudeau at German Holocaust Memorial

Noting that Canadian Jews "are understandably feeling vulnerable" in the wake of the deadly shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 27, that left 11 people dead and dozens injured, Trudeau pointed out that there have been calls to boost security at places of worship so the people could feel safe while in service, but didn't mention any new measures. But it is our collective responsibility to acknowledge this hard truth, learn from this story, and continue to fight against antisemitism every day, as we give meaning to the solemn vow: "'Never again'".

"We used our laws to mask our anti-Semitism, our antipathy, our resentment", Trudeau said in Ottawa on behalf of his country.

Standing in the Canadian parliament chamber, Trudeau spoke in both English and French as he apologized. "We are sorry for not apologizing sooner", Trudeau said in a French and English language address.

The apology connected past to present, showing how the hate that animated Canada's treatment of Jewish refugees is still ingrained in contemporary politics Canada, the US and elsewhere.

"Holocaust deniers still exist". "We contributed to sealing the cruel fates of far too many at places like Auschwitz, Treblinka and Belzec".

When Cuba, the United States and Canada turned the ship away, it returned to Europe where several countries took the refugees in and, according to historians and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), 255 of them were later killed in World War II, majority in concentration camps. "Jewish institutions and neighborhoods are still being vandalized with swastikas".

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"Recent attacks on the Jewish community attest to the work we still have to do", he stressed.

Trudeau pledged to listen to the request, but didn't provide further details.

The passengers, who had also been refused entry to Cuba and the United States, returned to Europe, where the passengers scattered across the continent. "Despite the desperate pleas of the Canadian Jewish community".

B'nai Brith Canada in a statement welcomed the apology and called on the government to adopt a concrete, national action plan to fight antisemitism. In November 1938, Nazi agitators attacked Jews and vandalized synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses, scattering broken glass that glittered in the streets like crystal.

Trudeau, a Liberal, has made a number of apologies for Canada's historic failings.

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