Trudeau criticized for calling on Israel to ‘exercise maximum restraint’ in Gaza



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Shame on you you have blood on your hands call for a ceasefire call for ceasefire that was a scene in a Vancouver restaurant last night where prime minister Trudeau was dining that protest followed these comments on Israel I urge the government of Israel to exercise maximum restraint the world is

Witnessing this the killing of women and children of babies this has to stop Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Trudeau on social media posting this Israel provides civilians in Gaza humanitarian corridors and safe zones Hamas prevents them from leaving at gunpoint it is Hamas not Israel that should be held accountable

For committing a double War crime targeting civilians while hiding behind civilians but at that same event yesterday TR Crudo called out Hamas noting the killing of Israeli Canadian peace activist Vivien silver Hamas needs to stop using Palestinians as human Shields they need to release all hostages immediately and unconditionally

Hamasa said that they would commit Horrors like October 7th over and over again the same violent attack that killed so many civilians including viven silver okay so what will Canadians make of all of this it’s time to bring in the power panel Jonathan kis is a former kebec

Quebec adviser excuse me to prime minister Justin Trudeau now with McMillan Vantage here with me in studio Tim Powers is the chair of su of strategies Jordan likeness is the canidate program manager for the Frederick Ebert foundation and Charelle eelin is the managing editor of the Hill

Times you’re not sitting in that order but you know all right uh Jonathan I’d like to start with you if I could I mean we saw what the Prime Minister had to say there yesterday and we’ve heard the reaction to it uh some frustration and anger really in all directions be named

At Justin Trudeau what’s your sense of what’s played out well you know there’s a policy and there’s a political aspect of all of this from a policy perspective not much has changed over five and a half weeks uh the government has been consistent in saying that Israel has a right to defend

Itself it’s got to do it while doing its best to protect civilians that Hamas is a terrorist group that they’re responsible for this uh and sort of giving Israel um the cover it needs to finish Kamas off so that it doesn’t repeat what it did on October 7th the

Political perspective is where I think he continues to get into trouble um yes he called out Kamas last night more aggressively than he has until now um but he did that at the same time is admonishing Israel now calling for maximum restraint is a different way of

Saying what he said until now but when you start to add an implications of dead babies and uh do it in an accusatory way that resonates well pretty negatively in the Jewish Community you’re hearing the blacklash you posted it from from Netanyahu but you’ve heard it from Jewish Community

Leaders and I’ve been hearing it last night and all day today um it is very triggering to talk about dead babies it’s part of a long-standing conspiracy theory that’s not what his intention was but that’s how people react that’s what I’ve been hearing all day and in the situation where anti-Semitism is at

Record highs I’ve never felt um this kind of reaction in the Jewish Community my whole life people are sincerely fearful fearful of sending our kids to school I mean one of the schools that was shot at is a school that I went to so um in that context I think um his

Juggling Act of trying to make everyone happy has actually made everyone unhappy and from the Jewish communities perspective I think that’s why you’re send ing this degree of outrage right so so Tim you know Jonathan seizes on the tone issue with the way the Prime Minister spoke yesterday in substance it

Wasn’t radically different from what Emanuel macron has said uh from what Joe Biden has said but it seems when you look at the way this is playing out across the country there is no middle position a prime minister can take on this and look I I’m certainly not

Walking in Jonathan’s shoes so I don’t have the deep personal understanding and family connections that Jonathan does so please understand that when I respond here I I do think though where I would differ a little bit from Jonathan is in the the the language the very specific

Use Jonathan talked about babies but I’m going to focus on maximum uh restraint that comes across as being uh a place where the Prime Minister hasn’t been before certainly this government’s had some trouble and they’ve not been alone in it whether you’d have a ceasefire humanitarian pause the

Challenge I find mind uh with maximum restraint and I think many of the people Jonathan’s talked about who’ve also reacted to that language is it can be used will be used is being used by Hamas and others who um are concerned less about the well-being of Israeli children Palestinian children are more concerned

About scoring points uh with their um their aggressor supporters maximum restraint I think was too far some of his language and Jordan and I were talking about this earlier was akin to Emanuel macron uh and what he has said uh but maximum restraint was too far it’s a difficult job but the Prime

Minister I think has to do better not using language that can be weaponized to further aggreg uh aggravate the circumstances we find ourselves in and aggregate given the way social media Jordan what’s your your take on it all yeah I I mean I it’s interesting we were

Chatting a little bit before about what macron had said and and of course I actually I think macron was was further than Trudeau where he he wants to ceasefire the whole work that’s right he was talking about working towards a ceasefire uh which is some where that prime minister Trudeau has not been

Willing to go in his comments yet but I don’t think it’s accidental that we did see a stepping up of the prime minister’s tone and comments a day after speaking with macron um it’s clear that you know there is a shift in his tone and his approach here and I think that

Part of the challenge that we’re seeing is that you know in Canada we do have broad political consensus about the right of Israel to defend itself in accordance with international law but then at the same time what we see unfolding in Gaza there are clearly also things that are happening that are not

In accordance with International humanitarian law and so the Prime Minister has to and I don’t envy this job but he is trying to chart a path there where he can express and have comments that are critical about what the Israeli government is doing in that military action um while still

Maintaining the status of Canada as a friend of Israel um and I think that this is really evidence of the difficulty of walking that path without going uh all the way to a ceasefire TRL I maybe I’m walking on thin ice here there may be a broad political political

Consensus I want to emphasize political consensus on Israel’s right to defend itself uh I’m not so sure there’s a broad societal consensus on that in Canada anymore with the protests we’re seeing the demographic and generational changes we’ve seen in this country it’s shifted that if not shattered it in some way what what’s

Your sense of where the country is right now well I think and I can’t and I can’t recall right off the top of my head who did the polling there was polling that and there is still um you know a societal I think consensus that people

Do feel that Israel has a right to defend itself however there is also this I would say a massive plurality of Canadians who also are saying but we also want to ceasefire so it’s so for many people there is that you know that dichotomy and and it’s it is hard to

Find that middle ground like where do those two positions meet I don’t know where those two positions meet and I think that’s the problem is that yes there is this shift you know from you know October 7th obviously there was a big you know swell of support as there

Should have been because something horrific happened and that was Hamas ATT attacked Israel um and killed you know over a thousand people like that’s indisputable But as time goes on and weeks go on and I I understand that there is you know this this feeling about um anti rise and anti-Semitism

It’s not just a feeling it’s a it’s a fact it’s it is a fact like it’s a proven fact um but at the same time people are dying and there is this swell of okay we understand that something terrible happened but now something else terrible is happening and people are

Dying and you know whether or not you believe the numbers that Hamas is putting out about how many many people have died in in in Gaza like there are still like thousands of people who are dying and so there is this this crutch of like okay so where does where do you

Find the humanity in that how do you support the humanity in that and I think that’s where uh the prime minister is falling into this trouble of how do I navigate that road between those two because you want to be supportive of the humanity of of you know of human life

But also how do you stay being a friend to Israel right and you actually said what I was trying to say much better uh there there’s not a lack of societal consensus on the right to defend itself but Jonathan there may be a shifting view on how it is defending itself right

Which is one of the challenges in talking about what’s happening here when you see the images when you see the casualties so how do you talk about this like and and I’m sorry you know the school you went to got shot at and these are awful things that shouldn’t be

Happening but how do we talk about what Israel is doing in response to what happened October 7th without it seem like it’s an endorsement of October 7th do you know what I mean this is the the challenge in this conversation in some ways what some of guidance from you on

It well I I think it’s easier to say how you shouldn’t talk about it um that may be that may just the easier way of saying it is that whether it’s the protest against the prime minister or against other ministers who are encountering this every day um whether it’s Metro stations in Montreal

Yesterday getting plastered um let alone Jewish institutions Jewish schools being shot at is one thing you’re seeing now Jewish businesses um so whether it’s criticizing the government or whether it’s criticizing the Jewish Community by extension for being responsible what’s going on in Israel the way not to talk

About it is and I’m not saying don’t protest or don’t allow protests I’m saying the vitrio the the degree of anger I understand but the incitement that’s where it crosses the line I think the Prime Minister has been clear on that I think we all would like to see more

Action and he’s not the one going out arresting people but I think how you allow people to express themselves freely um and get it out of their system is to pull out the very loud but relatively Fringe parts of it and say no you guys are offside and I think we all

Know when it hits the offside line uh I think it’s pretty consensual but we need to call it out and it needs to also come from within protesters themselves who say listen I’m protesting I’m angry about Gaza but that’s not okay and we’re not hearing that yet and I don’t know

Where we how we stop it necessarily it’s not snap your fingers because the emotions are so high it’s in can I just add something there to I mean look in these circumstances if we all exist in pmics all the time in language we’re not going to get unboxed from the from the

Polemics it’s it’s disheartening to watch the drive of some Western leaders who are intending to try and get Israel perhaps to take more of a pause or a ceasefire to rest the Carnage though are are borrowing language that has been inflamed by a aggressors like Hamas I I

I don’t know how you stop that perhaps as Jonathan says it’s uh it’s some of the things you stop saying but we we are missing the ability to have and this is not a shot at the Prime Minister but or any of the leaders per

Se but we we miss a a a statesmanlike figure who can go in and in the past that may have been a foreign leader from the US it’s certainly not and this is not to denigrate Joe Biden but we’re missing a senior States sort of figure who can bring about you know the

Two-state solution who can bring about healing who can bring people together right now people are still being bridged apart and not being brought together maybe that’s not possible the thing I would say though as it relates to Israel and I think that is what Netanyahu and

Others want us to remember is that again not a traditional War fighting a terrorist organization who is hellbent on destroying Israel and its people at any means and I get that he doesn’t want people to forget that though the imagery of War be it this war or any other War

Makes it very hard to build broader public support no matter the intent of your intentions Jordan are you seeing any the Prime Minister tried to address this a little bit last night about how we can’t keep turning on each other speaking as Canadians um but it’s happening uh in the streets of most

Major cities in this country on the daily and weekly basis and Parliament has spent more time talking about 3% of home heating oil users getting a carve out as tearing the country apart when this stuff is doing real long-term damage to our communities yeah absolutely and I think uh the you know

Of course the rise in anti-Semitism and islamophobia is real and it’s dangerous and actually it was already happening before October 7th but it’s it’s it’s it’s caught fire and it’s accelerated in a way that’s so dangerous and that’s why I think you know when you see uh when

You see any uh political leader or anybody taking this conflict and uh using ramped up language like that’s really concerning and so I think that it’s incumbent on everybody to to speak carefully to choose their words carefully and I think you’re seeing the vast vast majority of politicians do

That um this needs to be a moment of bringing people together um around shared values of dialogue of Tolerance and Canon I was actually struck that the Prime Minister you know raised um raised uh Vivian silver and so you know she’s a Israeli Canadian uh who who we found out

This week tragically uh had been killed by Hamas on October 7th and Vivian silver gave like her entire life’s work was Building Bridges of peace between Israelis and Palestinians and so the reality is we’re not going to solve this conflict here in Canada no and what we

Do need to do though is have safety for people in Canada who come from the Jewish Community who are Muslim Canadian who are Palestinian Canadian and that is something that we can have impact on and so I think that um as folks are choosing their words and and thinking about where

They’re going to be that’s really important and last thing I’ll say is I think it’s really important to we have to reflect that when Netanyahu is tweeting back at the Prime Minister that’s also part of domestic internal politics happening Israel and that what what he the line that he is out there

Pushing is not necessarily reflective of what mainstream Israelis are thinking and that that he actually right now is is facing very very low trust scores among the public there in Israel and so he there you know like it or not there is also politics wrapped up in this

That’s happening there and I think this week the Prime Minister got a bit of an elbow in that so shelle it’s interesting like the the Netanyahu tweet that Jordan points out I mean that’s coming as a there’s a shift in global opinion in some ways there’s a poll from Reuters

Today Reuters epod that I saw support for Israel has dropped by nine percentage points uh this poll says since it began and this is in the US right they’re most important Ally in this and ceasefire support has gone way up I mean so how do politicians approach this

Now well when you yeah when you’re looking at it from a political angle you have to look at the idea that as you know as Jordan mentioned Netanyahu is not necessarily the most popular guy and hasn’t been for quite some time like it wasn’t that long ago that you know the

Israelis were taking to the streets to you know protest uh some of his own policies that he had been putting forward um and the circle you know the international Global Circle it is tightening you have you had mcon who’s calling for a SE fire someone who would

Initially try to ban as futile as it was you know Pro Palestinian uh protests in France you have uh leaders like in South Africa uh calling for you know Israel what’s happening uh in Gaza to be referred to the international criminal court they’re are there are you know

Allies are kind of dropping like flies if you will because they see and they you know politically they are also being affected domestically and I think we’re going to see that here as well you see it in the United States as you just laid out Biden is getting you know uh hit in

Terms of like very specific groups of supporters uh who are saying you know what we’re not we we will remember this we don’t approve of of your stance on this and you’re going to feel it in the polls and we don’t know yet know when our next election here in Canada is

Going to be but people are going to remember they’re going to remember you know what MPS signed a letter calling for a Ceasar they’re going to remember uh you know who they felt stood for them and with them as you know as Jewish Canadians all of these things are going

To play into uh the political iCal realm and that’s something that everybody’s going to have to try to juggle so so Jonathan on that I mean what are you looking for next um from political leaders in this country uh on this you know to sort of deal with this sense of

Fear and unease and a lack of safety you know for for your own person and your communities and your institutions what are you looking to see well I think I think leaders all politicians need to continue to measure their words and understand that every word has a consequence and I think

That’s the mistake the Prime Minister made last night was that he was not careful with his words uh and you know you’re seeing it um it it you know these triggering words that people react to um weigh them measure them and not use them as sort of pot shots to take uh

Political swipes at your opponent some are doing that and continue to do that that’s unfortunate because it’s on the backs of community unities mine but all communities who are involved in this who are feeling vulnerable and you know I I I understand that their intent is to be

Reassuring but again each of those words matter and in terms of what they can do concretely again as I said SRA Cudo who’s going to go uh arrest people what I what the one thing I took out of last night’s speech that that I was encouraged by um was that he made it

Clear that uh the RCMP coordinating with Quebec and Montreal police that additional resources are available and that’s that’s something I’ve been wanting to hear for a couple weeks now uh if if local police can’t handle it somebody’s got to get on it because uh we can’t continue to live in fear and

Again that may be for other communities but I know that right now the one that’s actually being attacked most most violently um the words are not enough and we can say that the platitudes Aren’t Enough there needs to be some action and so I’m glad to see that

There’s some coordination going on we need more of that as well okay uh gang it’s a tough topic uh it’s been a tough five five weeks but I thank you all for for working through it with me tonight I want to thank the power panel shell Leeland Jordan litz Tim powers and

Jonathan kis thanks gang thank you thanks

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced criticism Wednesday from Jewish leaders after he made comments that were perceived as overly critical of Israel and its efforts to destroy Hamas in Gaza. The Power Panel weighs in on the fallout from Trudeau’s comments.

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