Liberal Member of Parliament and Opposition Critic for Human Rights Irwin Cotler rose in the House of Commons to state that, “we are witnessing today an old/new, escalating, sophisticated, global, virulent and even lethal anti-Semitism.”
Cotler was referring to the general theme that emerged from the recent Global Forum to Combat Anti-Semitism attended by some 300 delegates from over 45 countries – including a significant number of Parliamentarians. Anti-Semitism, “in its generic form,” said Liberal human rights critic Cotler “refers to escalating anti-Semitic hate crimes, Holocaust denial, boycotts, conspiracy theories, and the singling out of Israel and the Jewish People for discriminatory treatment in the international arena.
In its lethal form it refers to state-sanctioned genocidal anti-Semitism and the racist anti-Semitic terror targeting Jews.” Cotler challenged the international community as follows: “Silence is not an option. The time has come not only to sound the alarm – but to act. For, as history has taught us only too well, while it may begin with Jews, it does not end with Jews. Anti-Semitism is the canary in the mineshaft of evil.” Finally, the former Canadian Minister of Justice announced he had joined with UK Parliamentarian John Mann to establish an International Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism – a coalition of scholars and activists, parliamentarians and civil society, to monitor and combat this longest and most dangerous of hatreds.