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Federation CJA, together with our advocacy partner the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), is committed to combating antisemitism. This week, we have contributed to that fight in two very concrete ways.
On Wednesday, CIJA held a high-level discussion with Facebook in reference to the worrisome and unacceptable volume of antisemitic posts and comments that have appeared on its platform, in the aftermath of recent events in Outremont. We have also been in direct contact and reported such incidents to the SPVM, which is cooperating on the matter. A number of media platforms have taken down the comments and in some cases the original post. You can help us. If you see antisemitic hate on your feed, please flag this to CIJA at www.cija.ca/report-online-hate/.
In another major development, Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-de-Grâce became the first borough in the City of Montreal to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. Federation and CIJA were pleased to support the adoption of the motion and applaud Opposition Leader Lionel Perez for having introduced it. We also commend Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grace Borough Mayor Sue Montgomery and city councillors Marvin Rotrand, Peter McQueen and Christian Arsenault for adopting the IHRA definition as a tangible tool to combat antisemitism. Last year, the municipalities of Westmount, Hampstead and Côte-Saint-Luc adopted the motion as well.
The meeting with Facebook and the adoption of the IHRA definition in Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce are positive developments in a week that saw the hateful act at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim and an increase in online antisemitism following events in Outremont. These incidents have reminded us of the urgency in countering antisemitism in all its forms, and the importance of the IHRA definition in helping authorities to identify and combat the threat it continues to pose on our community.
Fighting antisemitism with the IHRA definition is the consensus position of the Jewish community in Quebec and the one we will continue to advocate in our interactions with social media platforms, police and authorities at all three levels of government.
*The IHRA working definition of antisemitism has been adopted by more than 30 countries, as well as the European Union and is supported by the Secretary General of the United Nations. In 2019, the Government of Canada formally adopted the IHRA definition as part of its antiracism strategy.