On Saturday evening — as the Canadian Jewish community watched in horror the direct attack by Iran on Israel — our political leaders behaved true to form.

They issued platitudes on social media or were shamefully silent, not just as hundreds of Iranian missiles were being fired at the Jewish state but that afternoon while a series of hateful anti-Israel protesters on the streets of Toronto cheered on Iran’s direct involvement.

Let’s just say their responses give rise to the expression that when the going gets tough, our leaders get going (as far away as possible).

Mayor Olivia Chow’s social media feed was silent.

In fact, on Sunday — ignoring the fact that the streets of the city she is supposed to lead are rampant with Jew hatred — she promoted a podcast in which she discussed “issues of concern” to city residents.

These included problems with the vacant home tax, homeless encampments and dangerous dogs.

Obviously dangerous dogs, while a concern, are far more important than the intimidating, dangerous and increasingly emboldened Jew-hating protesters on the streets of Toronto, who, on Saturday, featured a young keffiyeh-clad boy on his dad’s shoulders letting off smoke bombs.

Never mind that these toxic protesters occupy our city streets without a permit but last I looked, screaming, shouting, intimidating, harassing and letting off smoke bombs were against city bylaws and its hate policies.

But should we be surprised? Chow’s plan for a “safe and caring city” — which first went off the rails after Oct. 7 due to her mismanagement and indifference — has been nurtured by her poor judgement related to the arrests of Jew-hating protesters a few weeks ago.

After six of her councillors — two of them on the Police Services Board — signed a motion to the Toronto Police Services Board (to be debated at its Apr. 30 meeting) chastising the cops for arresting violent protesters (who have a right to peaceful assembly, they claimed), Chow said the councillors have a right to express their opinion.

The only one on council who has shown true leadership is James Pasternak, who has had a tremendous uphill battle doing so.

While Chow’s behaviour has contributed greatly to the incitement, Premier Doug Ford has been shamefully and willfully silent, as has all of his caucus, in particular its Jewish members, such as Michael Kerzner.

In the aftermath of the horrible attack, Ford was posting about National Volunteer Week.

He was strong out of the gate after the atrocities of Oct. 7, condemning the attacks both in the legislature on Oct. 17 and at the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s gala on Nov. 2.

Despite claiming the Jewish community needs his government’s “support,” we’ve seen nothing of the kind since November.

I’m not sure who is advising him but someone should tell him that his silence as premier of Canada’s largest province is telling. Not taking sides is taking sides.

He too has enabled the hate to grow and fester. He too has abandoned the Jewish community.

Then there’s our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose office issued a weak message as he rushed off to a Parliamentary Press Gallery banquet Saturday evening.

Compare his weak response to that of Conservative Leader Pierre Polievre, who left no question that his support is for the Jewish state and the only democracy in the Middle East. He was strong and decisive.

The behaviour of Trudeau and his incompetent foreign minister Melanie Joly has been so egregious over the past six months that it led 150 Toronto lawyers to take out a full-page ad in the National Post Saturday, ironically hours before the Iran missile strikes.

The open letter from the lawyers puts it quite succinctly.

They accuse Trudeau and his government,  through their actions and inactions, “of having contributed to the antisemitism” running rampant in Canada today.

”You have permitted it to fester and rage like a fire burning out of control,” they write.

They cite his failure to speak out against attacks on Jews, about the threats to Jewish schools, the targeting and vandalism of businesses and the desecration of Jewish cemeteries and places of worships.

They contend that it took “several weeks” for Joly to acknowledge the rape and sexual assault of Israeli women at the Nova Music Festival on Oct. 7.

They cite the picture of Joly shaking hands with Mahmoud Abbas, a supporter of terrorism against Israelis, while she was recently in Israel.

The lawyers say that Trudeau was unable or unwilling to “convincingly condemn” South Africa’s “evil intent” to accuse the only Jewish state of genocide while it has been trying to “prevent another genocide” against the Jewish people by Hamas (its genocidal intent clearly stated in its founding charter).

They accuse Trudeau of “supporting Israel’s enemies” and of “adding to the hatred directed” at the Jewish community.

The Mar. 20 decision made by the Liberal government to ban arms sales to Israel at a time of Israel’s “greatest peril” will be a “mark of everlasting shame and long remembered” by those who support Israel, they say.

”Your moral failings have contributed to what we regard as the explosion of Jew hatred in Canada,” they write. 

“Your government’s inaction and appeasement towards Hamas supporters achieves nothing but embarrassment and shame for Canada on the world stage.”

That about sums up the inaction of all but a few of our political leaders.

It sickens me to think how they’ve all let hatred towards my community get out of control in the country and in Canada’s largest city.


  • Sue-Ann Levy

    A two-time investigative reporting award winner and nine-time winner of the Toronto Sun’s Readers Choice award for news writer, Sue-Ann Levy made her name for advocating the poor, the homeless, the elderly in long-term care and others without a voice and for fighting against the striking rise in anti-Semitism and the BDS movement across Canada.