After over a year, the mayor of Montreal, the city with Canada’s second largest Jewish community, once again failed to live up to her promise to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.
“Another day, another broken promise,” tweeted the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), a Canadian Jewish advocacy group. “Valerie Plante failed to follow through on her commitment to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism. The Jewish community is outraged.”
Monday’s council meeting marked “a year of inaction by the mayor and her administration on anti-Semitism in Montreal,” said CIJA in a statement.
CIJA Quebec Vice President Eta Yudin said that mere assurances aren’t enough to fight anti-Semitism. She said the mayor is repeatedly making the same promise, which she fails to live up to. She described the mayor’s inaction as “unbecoming of a leader.”
“The Jewish community has taken the mayor at her word, and after a year of foot-dragging she continues to hide behind her office, as she does on other issues. Her silence sends a very troubling message to Montrealers,” said Yudin.
The CEO of Montreal’s Federation CJA, Yair Szlak, implored Montreal to join “other enlightened jurisdictions throughout the world in taking concrete steps by adopting the IHRA working definition of antisemitism.”
Szlak noted that in the face of “mounting anti-Semitism,” Montreal has been silent for over a year.
“The Mayor’s inaction on this front, on the eve of Yom HaShoah, the day of commemoration for victims of the Holocaust, is a blemish on our city’s reputation and hurtful to the dwindling number of survivors who call Montreal home,” said Szlak.
This is the second time the mayor has failed to support the implementation of the widely accepted definition, which has been implemented in jurisdictions across the world, including the Canadian and Ontario governments, Paris and Nice. Most recently it was adopted by the Biden administration.
At a January, 2020 Montreal council meeting, Ensemble Montreal leader Lionel Perez withdrew a motion to adopt the IHRA definition after Plante said she would refer it back to a committee. She brushed off a vote at the time, stating that defining anti-Semitism was “far from a black and white issue,” reported the Montreal Gazette.
“We can’t deny the fact that this motion proposed by the leader of the official opposition creates discussions,” Plante said at the meeting.
“Every word counts, and every comma counts also,” she also said.
Plante told council that she was not rejecting the motion but suggested that council send the motion back to committee to develop their own “Montreal model” for identifying anti-Semitism.
Plante has been mayor of Montreal since 2017. Montreal’s Jewish population was 90,780 as of 2011. Only Toronto has a larger community.
HD Editors Note: Why Is This News Biblically Relevant?
The IHRA’s definition of Anti-Semitism outlines the treatment of both Jews and the Jewish state of Israel, coupling demonization of both to rightfully be considered anti-semitic.
It covers areas such as:
- Holocaust denial – Claiming it to be fabricated or exaggerated
- Alleging Conspiracies stating Jews control the world, “media, economy, government or other societal institutions.”
- “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”
- “Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism… to characterize Israel or Israelis.”
- “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”
Throughout history, there has been an unrelenting, irrational hatred of the Jewish people. This hatred is what we know today as ‘Antisemitism.’
Many for thousands of years have sought to understand what “reasons” people could have to hate and target the Jewish people to such a severe extent. However, it is only with a Biblical understanding that one can answer this question.
Scripture indicates that their antipathy has nothing to do with their chosen reasoning but instead that their hearts are (satanically) predisposed to hate Jews.
The children of Israel are the “Chosen People of God.” God hand-selected Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’s seed to be the line from which He Himself would become flesh (Jesus Christ) and be born into.
In deliberate attempts to disrupt God’s plans (i.e., redemption for mankind, Salvation of Israel, and his ultimate defeat), Satan sought relentlessly through men and nations to wipe out the Jewish people. We are told that he will try and fail again through the Anti-Christ (See Revelation 12).
In Genesis 12:3, God not only calls all the nations of the world to bless Israel, but He also presents a warning to those nations and people that choose to curse them: “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” God will ultimately judge nations by how they treated the Jewish State of Israel (Joel 3:2).
This is also why it is incumbent upon Christians to love, pray for and stand up for the Jewish people, the state of Israel, and their eternal capital of Jerusalem. God has not forgotten His people, and neither should His servants.