Trudeau Condemns ‘Hateful Intimidation’ After Ottawa Protest Celebrates Hamas Attack

Trudeau Condemns ‘Hateful Intimidation’ After Ottawa Protest Celebrates Hamas Attack
Pro-Palestinian protesters march in Ottawa on April 20, 2024. (Courtesy of Dacey Media)
Noé Chartier

In apparent reference to a weekend pro-Palestine protest in Ottawa that saw demonstrators celebrating the Oct. 7 Hamas attack, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he condemns glorifying anti—Semitic violence.

“There is a difference between peaceful protest and hateful intimidation,” Mr. Trudeau wrote on the X platform on April 21.

“It is unconscionable to glorify the antisemitic violence and murder perpetrated by Hamas on October 7th. This rhetoric has no place in Canada. None.”

The pro-Palestine march took place in Ottawa on April 20, with video captured by Dacey Media going viral.

A crowd carrying Palestinian flags, banners, and green and red smoke grenades can be seen walking in front of Parliament Hill and the prime minister’s office on Wellington Street.

Communist flags were also flown, with some linked to the newly formed Revolutionary Communist Party, a group saying it’s preparing for the “revolution.”

A man on a loudspeaker can be heard praising the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas, which caused the death of around 1,200 Israelis and led to the kidnapping of hundreds of others.

“When I say ‘From the river to the sea, your reply with ’Palestine is almost free,' because our resistance attacks are proof that we are almost free,” said the man, who received cheers from the crowd.

“Oct. 7 is proof that we are almost free. Long live Oct. 7! Long live the resistance! Long live the intifada! Long live every form of resistance!”

Chris Dacey, who took the footage of the protest, told The Epoch Times he’s been covering the Ottawa protests for months. He says the mood and message of the protesters has been similar throughout, but this weekend marked the first time he heard them explicitly celebrating the Oct. 7 massacre.

Politicians from both sides of the aisle have condemned the chants.

“I condemn these pro-genocide, anti-semitic chants,” Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre wrote on X. “We stand with Jews in Canada and around the world against these malicious words and deeds.”

Liberal MP Anthony Housefather, who’s been the staunchest Israel supporter within caucus, also waded in.

“As Passover begins, I would ask Canadians to reflect on the fact that yesterday our Prime Minister & Leader of the Opposition both needed to issue statements about antisemitic demonstrations in our streets,” he wrote on X. “The last 6 months were the worst in 300 yrs. of Canadian Jewish history.”
Mr. Housefather had said he was reflecting on his future in the Liberal Party after it supported an amended NDP motion on Palestinian statehood in March. He ultimately decided to remain in the party citing his “core” Liberal values. “I believe my greatest value to Canadians is staying in caucus,” he said.

Pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel protests have been taking place throughout Canada since October 2023.

Protesters have been denouncing the Israeli counter-attack in the Gaza Strip seeking to eliminate the ruling group Hamas, considered a terrorist entity by Ottawa.

The Liberal government has been trying to walk the fine line between maintaining Ottawa’s long tradition of support for Israel, and its right to self-defence, while pushing for a ceasefire and the provision of humanitarian aid.

Impacts of the conflict have gone beyond pro-Hamas chants in the streets, with Jewish institutions being targeted by gunshots, arsons, and vandalism.

Noé Chartier is a senior reporter with the Canadian edition of The Epoch Times. Twitter: @NChartierET