Irwin Cotler talks about the urgency for an anti-Semitism summit

Canadian Jewish groups have been pushing the federal government for weeks to create a national emergency summit on anti-Semitism. The calls follow spikes in angry anti-Israel protests around the country in the wake of the latest violent flare-ups in the Middle East, as well as an outpouring of online hatred that extends beyond anti-Zionism and into anti-Semitism.

Late last Friday afternoon, Bardish Chagger, Canada’s Minister of Diversity and Inclusion, confirmed that Canada will in fact hold a national summit on hatred against Jews. At the helm will be Irwin Cotler, the distinguished Canadian Jewish human rights lawyer and advocate, who says he has been working for some time on what such a summit might look like.

Now his project has been greenlit. What comes next? What subjects will it tackle? And who will attend?

To answer these questions, Cotler joins The CJN Daily podcast in part one of an exclusive two-part interview. Listen and subscribe above to catch our second episode, in which Cotler discusses the new Israeli government and its implications for Canada, which airs later this week.

What we talked about:

  • Read: “Canada to hold an emergency summit on anti-Semitism” (
  • CIJA’s press release: “CIJA welcomes Government of Canada decision to host Emergency Summit on Antisemitism” (

The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Victoria Redden is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. Find more great Jewish podcasts at

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