Fake progressive Justin Trudeau just threw occupied Palestinians under the bus

Justin Trudeu
Fréa Lockley

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has shamefully linked legitimate criticism of Israel with violent antisemitic crimes. In short, he threw Palestinians living under violent occupation even further under the bus.


On 7 November, Trudeau gave a speech that was meant to offer an apology to Jewish refugees who fled persecution in World War Two. In 1939, over 900 Jewish people fled from Nazi Germany on a boat. Cuba and the US turned them away. Then Canada also refused them asylum.

During the ‘apology’, Trudeau acknowledged and lamented that antisemitism is still rife. But he then went on to say:

Jewish students still feel unwelcomed and uncomfortable on some of our college and university campuses because of BDS-related intimidation. And out of our entire community of nations, it is Israel whose right to exist is most widely and wrongly questioned.

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement is a:

Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.

And people quickly took to social media to challenge Trudeau for apparently equating BDS to antisemitism. Some pointed out that he twisted “Canada’s history of white supremacy to throw Palestinians under the bus”:

As journalist Max Blumenthal explained, Trudeau effectively flipped his apology on its head to “demonize” thousands of displaced and oppressed people:

Israeli crimes

BDS is a peaceful means to oppose the horrific situation for people in living in occupied Palestine. Israel has met peaceful protests challenging this occupation with extreme violence. In April, a UN statement clearly stated that Gaza is under “military occupation”. And it warned against Israel’s continued use of “excessive force”.

Since 2000, Israeli armed forces or settlers have reportedly killed over 2,000 Palestinian children. Around 1,600 of these deaths occurred in Gaza. Everyone living in Gaza, meanwhile, is under siege in what many call an open-air prison. According to Human Rights Watch: “nearly 2 million Palestinians, including 1.3 million refugees, live in Gaza”.

It’s vital to challenge antisemitism wherever it exists. But for Trudeau to cynically link violent antisemitic crimes with a peaceful movement to support the besieged Palestinian people is absolutely unforgivable.

Get Involved!

– Join and support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. This is a non-violent means of resisting Israel’s occupation.

– Also, support the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign.

– In the UK, write to your national or local politicians to ask them to push for peace talks between Israel and Palestine.

– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account. And see previous Canary articles on Palestine and Israel for more.

Featured image via Joshua R. M. Dewberry/Joint Base Andrews

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