February 2, 2022—In response to the use of swastikas, and in one instance a Confederate flag, during the "Freedom Convoy" protests against coronavirus vaccine mandates outside the Canadian Parliament, the Rabbinical Assembly (RA), the international association of Conservative movement rabbis, issued the following statement:
We are outraged and disgusted by the preponderance of swastikas, and even a Confederate flag, displayed during the so-called 'Freedom Convoy' protests in Ottawa. The use of antisemitic symbols and white nationalist imagery - at a purportedly 'peaceful' protest - is entirely unacceptable, especially in the nation’s capital.
As the international body of Conservative and Masorti rabbis, we condemn these dangerous acts of hatred and call on lawmakers to reject such hateful ideology, particularly the members of Canada's Parliament who have thus far embraced the protestors and their cause.
We also wish to express our deep gratitude to the overwhelming numbers of Canadian citizens, lawmakers, mayors, premiers and law enforcement personnel who have worked ceaselessly in defense of Canadian values and the security of Canada’s Jewish community. The Jewish community of Canada knows it is not alone in its fight against hate. “
Let us repeat, as many in our community have been obligated to since the onset of the virus: there is absolutely no comparison between taking necessary public health and safety measures amidst a global pandemic and the genocide inflicted by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. Such dishonest justifications in the name of individual liberty, specifically in a period of rising continental and international antisemitism, will only embolden others seeking to sow hate and raises even more serious concerns within Canada’s Jewish community for its safety and future.