'Bring them home': Pro-Israel rally against antisemitism calls for return of hostages

On November 16, a rally against antisemitism and calling for the return of 230+ hostages took place in front of the Henry F. Hall Building at Concordia University. A substantial police presence was deployed to ensure the event proceeded without any violence.

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In Montreal last week, multiple antisemitic incidents occurred. On the morning of November 8, the Beth Tikvah synagogue and the neighboring CIJA building were reportedly firebombed by Molotov cocktails.

Later that day, Jewish students were attacked by anti-Israel protesters during their event expressing support for the hostages taken by Hamas on October 7. On November 9, two Jewish schools were shot at their front doors around 4:30 am. This incident recurred at one of the same schools early morning the following Sunday.

It is why, during this event on November 16, the police made sure that any disturbance happened during the day. The people present during the rally displayed on the ground images of the different hostages with teddy bears and balloons. The pro-Israel supporters chanted 'Am Yisrael Chai,' a solidarity anthem.

On the anti-Israel side, we heard the slogan 'From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free.' Many Israel supporters stated that this is a direct call for genocide. Some in the crowd also mentioned that they wanted to convey to those chanting this slogan that they have family living between the river and the sea.

Another argument mentioned by anti-Israel supporters is that 'they have nothing against the Jews but against the Zionists.' In response, someone told me that 'anti-Zionist is anti-Jewish and, therefore, anti-Semitic.' Most of the people on the ground were agreeing with this, that you cannot differentiate Zionists from the Jewish people.

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