After nearly nine months of war between Israel and Hamas, an increased number of antisemitic incidents have contributed to a growing unease in Toronto’s Jewish community.

Even in the LGBTQ+ community, which preaches love and tolerance for all, antisemitic chants of “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” as well as “there is only one solution, Intifada revolution,” were heard among participants at Toronto’s annual Gay Pride march this weekend.

However, this shouldn’t come as a surprise following Pride Toronto’s official statement blaming Israel for the war in Gaza.

“Pride Toronto stands in solidarity with the innocent civilians, including LGBTQ+ Palestinians who are already deeply marginalized, affected by the devastating consequences of the ongoing conflict, as we bear witness to the immense human tragedy unfolding before our eyes,” the statement reads.

“Basic services are obstructed, and the entryand distribution of essential aid have been severely hampered with  Israel of committing clear violations of international humanitarian law”

Ironically, Pride encourages people to advocate for “solidarity with innocent civilians” in Gaza but fails to acknowledge the 1,200 plus innocent Israelis slaughtered by Hamas on October 7. Nowhere is there an acknowledgment of Hamas’ responsibility for starting the war, and only a cursory reference was made to the one hundred plus abused Israeli hostages that remain trapped in Gaza.

Pride Toronto’s last encounter with Israel-Arab tensions came in 2010 when Queers Against Israeli Apartheid sought to participate. Their involvement prompted a temporary ban on the term “Israeli apartheid” and threatened the event’s funding from the city. Once the ban was lifted, the antisemitic group marched regularly in the parade until it dissolved in 2015.

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