MONTREAL (Jun. 23)
Leaders of Canadian Jewry addressing more than 2500 people at a mass rally for Israel here Monday night, expressed enthusiastic approval of Israel’s actions in Lebanon and blasted Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau for condemning it. The rally, at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, began with a procession of Jewish war veterans and the chanting of the El Moleh Rahamin prayer for fallen Israeli soldiers.
Zeev Ettinger, deputy chairman of the Canadian Zionist Federation, declared, “We deplore the policy of our government and the statement by the Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau and call on the Canadian government to assist by taking the necessary steps leading to a just peace which will insure the security of Israel’s northern border.
Frank Schlesinger, chairman of the Canadian Jewish Congress-Quebec region condemned “the relentless terrorist attacks coming from Lebanon against Israel. ” Declaring the “full support of the Jewish community of Canada with the State of Israel, “he asked, “If terrorists would be hiding in our midst and striking against innocent people, would not Canada intervene to uproot them?”
Avy Chrestol, president of B’nai B’rith, said “The values Israel holds dear like freedom and democracy are the same the British have fought for in the Falkland Islands.” He announced a program of relief for the Lebanese people who have suffered during the war.
LACK OF CONDEMNATION OF PLO NOTED
Leo Kronitz, executive vice president of the Canadian Zionist Federation, said “We didn’t hear from the Prime Minister of Canada nor from the provincial Premiers a condemnation of the PLO murders against men, women and children in Israel … A Jewish army now protects Jewish life.”
Maurice Saade, president of the Sephardic Federation also expressed solidarity with Israel and condemned the PLO. Irving Cotler, president of the Canadian Jewish Congress also attacked Trudeau’s statement that Israel’s actions in Lebanon were “unacceptable.”
Cotler said, “If Canada will never to lerate terrorist acts against each national territory or criminal attempts against the life of its diplomats abroad. the same reluctance is valid for Israel. The PLO must never again threaten the people of Israel.” Cotler demanded the disarming of the PLO terrorist center in Beirut.
Yitzhak Meir, Consul General of Israel in Montreal warned that “An attack on Israel is on attack on all of us. We don’t owe apology to anyone.” The people attending the rally were urged to send postcards to Trudeau expressing their anger at Canada’s official policy toward Israel.