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CAEF Letter to Minister Miller Re: his hurtful remarks about Jews and Israel

Hon. Marc Miller Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Government of Canada

Dear Minister Miller;

I am writing on behalf of the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation (CAEF). We are deeply dismayed and, frankly, shocked at your statement at an Immigration Committee meeting in Ottawa on May 27th. At that time, you said that you want no votes from friends of Israel who equate criticism of Israel with antisemitism.

“I don’t want their vote,” you told the Commons Immigration Committee: “Those people who have that type of thinking, I don’t want their vote.” This is a clearly an inappropriate and insensitive statement for a minister of the Crown to make, let alone a Minister of Immigration. While criticism of Israeli government policy is acceptable, there are many, too many, who let criticism of the Israeli government’s policy slide into de-legitimization of the state itself, thus promoting Jew hatred.

One need only look at our University campuses and streets since October 7 of last year, and how anti-Israel chants have merged with and degenerated into antisemitic vitriol, vandalism and violence. Thus, by this overwhelming evidence of the rise in antisemitism in Canada, in fact, many people do equate anti-Israel rhetoric with Jew hatred.

In addition, the vast majority of Canadian Jews are Zionists, meaning they identify with and support Israel, not necessarily the government of Israel. Thus, your statement in the present Canadian environment is very troubling for the Jewish community and our allies, as we know it will contribute, perhaps unintentionally, to further marginalization of the Canadian Jewish community. At this difficult time, your statement was extremely hurtful and appears to have been directed, by implication, to pro-Israel Canadian Jews.

Furthermore, given Canada’s shameful record towards Jewish immigrants in WWII, best documented by the book “None is Too Many”, a Minister, particularly, a Minister of Immigration should never have spoken as you did. We are expecting an immediate and unambiguous public apology.

Yours truly,

Charles Cooke, Government Relations Representative of CAEF


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