Jewish group pickets Quebec mayor for anti-Israel remarks


TORONTO (JTA) — A Jewish group is demanding the resignation of a Quebec mayor who said Israel should not exist.

Members of the Jewish Defense League picketed in front of Huntingdon’s City Hall on Jan. 26 demanding that Stephane Gendron step down as mayor of the small town southwest of Montreal or be fired. JDL Canada spokesman Meir Weinstein said about 20 people protested and the group intends to keep up the pressure for Gendron to leave.

The mayor’s remarks were "dangerous, inflammatory and un-Canadian," Weinstein told Canadian Press.

Gendron said Israel is an apartheid state and expressed hope for its demise in remarks made Dec. 27 on a daily television show he hosts.

He said "products being made in Israel, on land stolen from Palestinians, who are kept walled in by an apartheid regime where they are cut off … it’s very serious. And a country like that does not deserve to exist."

The day after making his inflammatory remarks, Gendron said he was sorry if he offended anyone. Reading from a statement, he said that Jews have a right to form a state. However, he also said that he has the right to denounce Israeli government policies concerning Palestinians, which doesn’t make him an anti-Semite.

Gendron said he doesn’t want to talk about the issue anymore.

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