Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chose to condemn both “anti-Semitism” and “Islamophobia” after shots were fired at two Jewish schools in Montreal on Wednesday night.
“I understand that people are so profoundly disturbed by what they see happening there,” Trudeau said at a press conference in Montreal on Thursday.
“Violence, hate, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and scenes such as the ones we saw in Concordia University or shots fired at Jewish schools overnight — all of that is unacceptable,” he said.
“We are seeing an increase in threats of violence. That’s not who we are as Canadians. We are a country that has done better than just about any other country at understanding and respecting different perspectives,” he said.
There was no “Islamophobia” in evidence at the crime scenes in Montreal, where staffers arrived for work at the Talmud Torah Elementary School and Yeshiva Gedola post-secondary school in the Cote-des-Neiges district on Thursday morning to discover the front doors were riddled with bullets.
Police said they recovered at least one shell casing from the Talmud Torah Elementary School. The schools were empty during the overnight hours, so no injuries were reported.
“We were already worried, and now there’s an action that happened that goes far beyond what we could have imagined. We’re from France, and we fled antisemitism there. It’s a bit of a shock to see we’re also targeted here,” the mother of two boys enrolled at Talmud Torah Elementary School told the Montreal Gazette on Thursday.
“We don’t understand why a conflict tens of thousands of kilometers away is imported here. We have to be proud to be Jewish, but we’re scared. That’s for sure,” she said.
“To know that someone would have the audacity at a kids’ school, let alone a Jewish school, is outrageous. We’re in Canada in 2023,” said the father of a Talmud Torah student.
The Montreal Gazette reported that parents were tearful, angry, and “visibly shaken” as they picked their children up from the school on Thursday, surrounded by a protective screen of uniformed police officers and private security.
“No child in Montreal should see their place of learning targeted by a weapon designed to kill. The hate must stop. Our city is in crisis,” Eta Yudin of the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs told the Times of Israel (TOI) on Friday.
TOI noted Montreal police have recorded 73 hate crimes against Jews since the Hamas attack on October 7, more than hate crimes reported against all groups for the entirety of 2022.
“Islamophobia” was also difficult to detect at the Concordia University incident Trudeau mentioned. In that incident, a mob of pro-Hamas demonstrators attacked Jewish students who were attempting to display posters of the Israeli civilians kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists on October 7.
Footage from inside Canada’s Concordia University where police had to be called on the campus to protect Jewish students from pro-Palestine protestors.pic.twitter.com/wh8MNxAVi0
— Sonam Mahajan (@AsYouNotWish) November 8, 2023
The attackers hurled some decidedly non-Islamophobic insults at the Jewish students and tried to steal their kidnap victim posters during the assault.
One of the pro-Hamas students appearing in the viral video, identified with “they/them” pronouns in a subsequent interview with the Montreal Gazette, claimed they/them were calling the female Jewish students “c*nt” instead of “k*kie.” They/them said they/them did not know “k*ke” was a racist slur against Jews. The Montreal Gazette apparently did not think to ask what they/them thinks “c*nt” means, or how actual women feel when insulted as such.
The mob was led by a male University of Montreal professor named Yanise Arab, who called one of the Jewish students a “whore” and told her to “go back to Poland.”
Montreal – November 8 – University of Montreal (UdeM) Professor Yanise Arab yells at a Jewish student in Concordia to “go back to Poland, sharmouta (wh*re)”. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/zYys9AtESf
— Documenting Antisemitism (@AntisemitismCA) November 9, 2023
Arab is a humanities professor at Concordia who teaches a course in “dominance and resistance in the Arab world.” His staff page on the university website has mysteriously vanished, but his employment status was uncertain as of Friday morning.
The pro-terrorist student group, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights, endorsed the October 7 atrocities, held Israelis responsible for the violence perpetrated against themselves, and suggested similar “decolonization” attacks should be perpetrated against Canada, according to the National Post.
Police had to be called in to rescue the Jewish students from their assailants and several security guards were injured during the scuffle. One of the Jewish students said the situation was “very scary, very scary as a Jewish person on campus.”
Pro-Hamas students celebrated their violent assault as a victory.
“I was at the Hull building that yesterday witnessed a very intense altercation, and I would like to thank every one of you who came out yesterday to show your support. Whether you were there to purchase keffiyehs for charity or whether you were simply there to show our numbers, to show you are standing in solidarity with us. We terrified them!” one exultant Hamas supporter said.
“We will not be not be paralyzed by fear. We will continue to advocate and work with law enforcement to ensure the safety and security of the community. We will continue to stand proud and tall as Jewish Canadians,” Canada’s Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) responded.
On Monday night, a synagogue and Jewish community center in Montreal’s Dollard-des-Ormeaux suburb was firebombed. Investigators working the scene on Tuesday morning found pieces of a broken bottle, burn marks on the synagogue’s front door, a “smile fire” burning at the back door of the Jewish community center across the street, and no traces of “Islamophobia.”
Trudeau’s foreign minister, Melanie Joly, on Friday called on Israel to negotiate with the terrorists of Hamas, at a “negotiating table” where Qatar acts as “moderator.”