Canadian lawmakers recognize Jewish refugees from Arab countries


(JTA) — Two Canadian lawmakers made statements in the House of Commons to commemorate “Jewish Refugee Day.”

Marked in Israel on Nov. 30, “Jewish Refugee Day” recognizes the 850,000 Jews who were forced to flee their homes in Arab countries across the Middle East in the days leading up to and following the creation of the State of Israel.

Billions of dollars worth of property was confiscated, severe restrictions were placed on the Jews, and some were executed.

Conservative lawmaker David Sweet referred to the attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue building and recent anti-Semitic events in Canada, calling them a “painful reminder that the fight against anti-Semitism endures.”  He praised Bnai Brith Canada for doing its part in educating people on the “ horrors that Jewish families and individuals have faced, while also promoting awareness of many other great injustices.”

“On behalf of my parliamentary colleagues, I want to assure the Canadian Jewish community that we remember the Jewish refugees forced from their homes on this day of commemoration, and that we will always fight against anti-Semitism and racism in all of its forms, here at home and around the world,” he said.

Liberal lawmaker Marco Mendicino called for recognition of the Jewish families that were “devastated as they were forced into exile and forced to experience injustices, the most egregious human rights violations, systemic violence and even genocide. Fortunately, some were able to flee to Israel, Europe, South America, and even here in Canada where their vibrant communities today exemplify their strength and resilience.”

“While the community continues to thrive, we remember these refugees and their lived experiences, as many suffer similar injustices around the world today,” he said.

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