The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism

Trudeau blasts BDS movement as antisemitic

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Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau blasted the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as anti-Semitic and contrary to “Canadian values,” and accused it of intimidating Jewish students on university campuses.

During a town hall meeting Tuesday at Brock University in St. Catherines, 75 miles southwest of Toronto, one questioner demanded that Trudeau retract his previous condemnation of BDS.

“In Canada we have to recognize that there are things that aren’t acceptable, not because of foreign policy concerns, but because of Canadian values,” Trudeau replied.

“It’s not right to discriminate or to make someone feel unsafe on campus because of their religion, and unfortunately the BDS movement is often linked to those kinds of frames.”

Trudeau said that targeting the State of Israel was a form of antisemitism, quoting former Canadian justice minister Irwin Cotler’s characterization as “the three Ds: demonization of Israel, a double standard around Israel and a delegitimization of the State of Israel.”

“It doesn’t mean that you can’t criticize decisions by the State of Israel, that of course is a democratic country…,” Trudeau told the audience, noting that Israel’s opposition parties criticize government decisions.