NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh prompted a strong response from MPs in the House of Commons following comments he made that the Israeli Defence Force was sowing “the seeds of genocide” in Gaza.
“Resist the call for revenge,” said Singh, while debating the Hamas-Israel conflict on Monday. “Surely we must demand the same of the Israeli government.”
“Canada must call for a ceasefire to end the killing of innocent civilians in Gaza immediately,” said Singh, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.
“We cannot allow for the continuing dehumanization of an entire population. When we stop seeing each other as human, when we stop believing each life has value, this is when the seeds of genocide take hold.”
Singh’s comments were then met with a point blank question from Mount Royal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather.
“Yes or no, do you believe Israel is committing or is about to commit genocide?” asked Housefather.
“I understand there are very real emotions,” replied Singh.
Liberal MP for Winnipeg South Centre Ben Carr then asked Singh for clarification on his previous comments.
“Perhaps I misunderstood him, but it sounds to me that he was suggesting Israel is committing or on the verge of committing genocide. The definition of genocide has a particularly important adjective, ‘deliberate.’”
Then Conservative deputy leader Melissa Lantsman, who is herself Jewish, asked Singh to clarify his statement.
“I am going to ask him one more time if he believes – and this is a serious matter – that Israel is committing or is about to commit genocide?” asked Lantsman.
“We know there are innocent people in Gaza,” replied Singh.
The debate was sparked in response to the now eight Canadians who have been killed since the Hamas attack first began on Oct. 7.
Conservative MP for Charleswood–St. James Marty Morantz responded to Singh’s answer by saying, “Now is the time for moral clarity.”
“Already, there are calls for Israel to de-escalate. I cannot believe I am hearing this, even from the NDP. I ask, would any country de-escalate after having its people slaughtered in cold blood?” asked Morantz.
Then Conservative MP for Charlesbourg-Haute St. Charles, QC, Pierre Paul-Hus explained the importance for the Commons telling the “whole truth” in regards to the murder of Jews.
“Why deny reality?” asked Paul-Hus. “The members of Hamas are terrorists. There is ample evidence of that. It is time to tell the whole truth about these violent criminals. This is not merely a conflict between two peoples. These are acts of terrorism and war crimes.”
His comments even garnered support from a member of the Bloc Quebecois.
“This does not happen often, but for once, we are in agreement,” said MP René Villemure for Trois–Rivières, QC. “The members of Hamas are terrorists. Hamas is seeking the annihilation of Israel. Hamas is evil. We all agree on that.”
So far, eight Canadians have been killed and several more have been kidnapped and held hostage.