Statement: Canada and European Union Must Stand With Israel
Israeli policeman assisting a Muslim worshipper in Jerusalem's Old City
05/09/21: As Israel is rocked by violent Palestinian protests in Jerusalem and in various parts of the country, Canada and the European Union (EU) must stand with its friend and ally.
As a democracy, Israel preserves and protects the right of all its citizens to worship freely, and without violence. Over the last number of days, a number of extremist Palestinian worshippers at the Al Aqsa Mosque began throwing rocks and molotov cocktails at police officers, injuring dozens. No nation would tolerate this behaviour.
At the same time, rockets from Hamas led Gaza are being launched at Israeli towns and cities, impacting citizens who live in the southern part of the country. This follows a number of terrorist related incidents including just a few days ago, shooting attacks by Palestinians against Israeli civilians. A 19 year-old Jewish student was murdered in one attack.
However Canada issued a press statement on May 8th raising concern about the escalation, but not denouncing Palestinian violence and the injuries sustained by the Israeli police services. Canada is a close friend of Israel and its commitment to peace and to a two state solution is welcomed.
At the same time, Canada and our EU partners must take a principled stand in support of Israel and denounce the unfounded Palestinian rioting and violence.
In recent days, Canada has taken the moral high road by declaring it would boycott Durban IV, joining America and Australia. This is an important and ethical stand against antisemitism and unfair bullying of Israel. Similarly, the world community must pressure the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to immediately cease and desist all incitement against Israel and help calm the situation.
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Avi Abraham Benlolo, BA MA, Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa)
Order of Vaughan, Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal, Race Relations Award
ABOUT: Avi Abraham Benlolo has been described as the nation's most prominent and noted expert in Holocaust studies, in countering Antisemitism and promoting human rights. He has dedicated nearly three decades in executive capacities, was founding President and CEO of a major organization in the Jewish community, has raised over $150 million for charities and is a leading voice in Canada. His academic research, graduate degree, Ph.D. coursework and nearly three decades of professional work has focused on these arenas in addition to peace and security in the Middle East. He has published hundreds of articles in these areas. In recognition of his national and international leadership in this area, he has received numerous awards including an Honorary Doctorate from a prestigious Israeli university for his work in Holocaust studies and combating antisemitism; an Order of Vaughan for his distinguished contribution to anti-racism, equity and diversity; the Queens Diamond Jubilee Award for his contributions to Canada and a race relations award for best practice, based on distinguished service in promoting human rights.
As a supporter of Israel, he is proud to have established "The Avi Benlolo Scholarship Fund in National Security" at Haifa University.