B’nai Brith Canada upset after Israeli flag burned during Vancouver protest

B'nai Brith Canada says it's upset after the flag of Israel was burned during a protest outside the Vancouver Art Gallery. Provided by B'nai Brith / Courtesy Facebook

A Jewish organization is calling on Vancouver’s elected officials to speak out regarding anti-Israeli protests that happened over the weekend.

B’nai Brith Canada Spokesperson Aidan Fishman says some protesters spewed hate at Jews who attended to show their support for Israel.

He says Israeli flag was ripped up, and another painted on a piece of cardboard was burned.

“We obviously don’t expect the mayor to take a position on the Jerusalem issue – that’s not even the point. But we do expect the mayor and other city officials to state unequivocally and on the record that hatred and intimidation will not be allowed in the public square.”

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Fishman says there’s no place for that kind of behaviour.

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“It’s one thing to disagree over policy issues, like where Israel’s capital should be or how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be solved. But one way it definitely can’t be solved is by literally burning the other side’s national symbols.”

The Canada Palestine Association says while it didn’t organize Saturday’s rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery, it says it does not consider burning the flag of Israel an anti-semitic gesture, and don’t equate all Jewish people with Israel.

The Mayor of Vancouver has not yet responded to a request for comment.

The protests were in reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump’s naming of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, breaking with decades of American international policy.

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