17:10 GMT +310 December 2019
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    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in Washington

    Canadian Prime Minister Condemns Violence at Anti-Israel Protest in Toronto

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    TORONTO (Sputnik) - The violence that took place at an anti-Israel demonstration in Toronto this week was shocking and unacceptable, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement.

    On Wednesday, clashes erupted at Toronto’s York University between pro-Palestinian protesters and attendees of an event that featured former Israeli troops.

    "What happened that night was shocking and absolutely unacceptable. Anti-Semitism has no place in Canada. We will always denounce it [and] all forms of hatred," Trudeau said in a Twitter post on Friday.

    Trudeau’s statement echoes those made by Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Toronto Mayor John Tory, both of whom denounced the violence and the expression of any hateful rhetoric.

    The condemnation follows a demonstration by members of York’s Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA), protesting an event that featured a panel discussion with Reservists on Duty, an organization of former members of the Israeli Defence Force (IDF), that turned violent.

    Demonstrators, including some with concealed faces and bearing Palestinian flags, chanted "Viva, Viva, Intifada" – an Arabic word that translates to rebellion or uprising. Eventually, the protest turned violent with SAIA members engaging in skirmishes with event attendees, some of whom were identified online as Jewish Defence League (JDL), a Jewish far-right religious-political organization, members, at which point Toronto Police had to intervene.

    The unrest is just the latest case in a string of incidents at York University, which has been the epicentre of a long-simmering conflict between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian groups in Toronto.


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