Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was in Toronto discussing the high cost of rent, lack of affordable housing and the need for a concrete plan to bring down grocery prices in Canada, when he was asked about Netanyahu’s smackdown of Trudeau’s call for “maximum restraint” by Israel in Gaza.
Singh replied saying he wasn’t surprised by the Israeli prime minister's response to Trudeau’s remarks and went on to accuse Netanyahu of “running an extremist government” and being "dangerous to democracy."
“This is an extremist himself with very dangerous policies. Dangerous to democracy, dangerous to the people of Israel. People in Israel have very actively opposed his agenda, have protested him and so I am not surprised he is responding,” Singh told reporters.
Jagmeet Singh says, "The Netanyahu government is an extremist government with very dangerous policies, dangerous to democracy and the people of Israel." pic.twitter.com/WHyhuYQqOE
— True North (@TrueNorthCentre) November 15, 2023
Singh also sided with Trudeau’s criticism of Israel, calling it “fair.”
“There should obviously be a full respect for international law. There are deep concerns about that not being followed. So that’s a fair criticism,” he added.
Earlier in the week, Trudeau called on Israel to exercise “maximum restraint” so civilian casualties could be avoided, as reports of the Israel Defence Forces raiding Gaza’s largest hospital, Al-Shifa, emerged.
In response to Trudeau’s calls, Netanyahu shifted the blame to Hamas in a lengthy post on X.
“It is not Israel that is deliberately targeting civilians but Hamas that beheaded, burned and massacred civilians in the worst horrors perpetrated on Jews since the Holocaust,” Netanyahu posted on X while tagging the Canadian prime minister’s handle.
“It is Hamas not Israel that should be held accountable for committing a double war crime - targeting civilians while hiding behind civilians.”
It is not Israel that is deliberately targeting civilians but Hamas that beheaded, burned and massacred civilians in the worst horrors perpetrated on Jews since the Holocaust.
While Israel is doing everything to keep civilians out of harm’s way, Hamas is doing…
— Benjamin Netanyahu - בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) November 15, 2023
Jagmeet Singh criticized Trudeau for not making his position clear on ceasefire
While Singh may be on the same page as Trudeau about Israel’s role in the war, the NDP leader remains critical of the Canadian prime minister’s shaky stance on calling for a ceasefire.
“So far the prime minister hasn’t taken that position. I believe Canada should take that strong position that we believe in peace, we believe in a ceasefire and the release of hostages. We need to do that and make that voice and stand as clear as possible, as soon as possible,” Singh told reporters in Toronto.
“We play a very significant role in the world. Our voice would have weight, if we were to call for that combined position as a nation - the release of hostages and a ceasefire - that would be something very important and very significant and so far the prime minister has not taken that stance and many people are critical about it and I understand why,” Singh added.
Canadians call out Singh for saying the “same thing” as Sarah Jama who was booted from NDP following her controversial stance on the war
Singh’s remarks did not sit well with many Canadians, and possibly former supporters of the NDP, who noticed the irony in how his recent thoughts on the Israel-Hamas war reflected those of Sarah Jama’s from about a month ago, following which the Hamilton MPP was axed from the Ontario NDP.
bring Sarah Jama back because she said the same thing last month and got fired from her position sooo quickly compared to the hassle of the green belt right before.
something i’ve learned about this politician is that he changes his aims regularly. a fraud literally https://t.co/i5piI7DGzq
— ⎊ tam (@btstarkinc) November 16, 2023
yknow Sarah Jama said the same thing in a tamer, more cookie-cutter way to fit the sensitive narrative that the public needs for this matter and she was FIRED so https://t.co/tQ2coEuRWe
— yue!! ⋆｡˚ 🐦⬛🍉⋆ ˚｡ (@stardustblooms) November 16, 2023
Lmaoooooooo bro from the same party that censured Sarah Jama??????
Jagmeet said 10000x worse than she did
— … (@DixonMadeUrkel) November 16, 2023
Jama went through a volatile few weeks after posting what was perceived to be a controversial statement on the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. She was kicked out of caucus by Ontario NDP leader Marit Stiles with support from fellow party MPPs in the province, while Doug Ford's PCs also voted to censure Jama in the House.
Earlier this week, Sarah Jama shared with news reporters what she believed could have been the reason behind her expulsion from the NDP, as she reopened her Hamilton Centre office for the first time since becoming an independent MPP more than three weeks ago.
Her comments came in the same week that also saw federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh doubling down on calls for a ceasefire as Canadians called him a "hypocrite" for saying the "same thing" as what laid the foundation of Jama's dismissal.
It should be noted that Singh, being the leader of the federal NDP party, does not have direct control over decisions made by provincial branch of the party. But both the federal and provincial branches of the NDP are affiliated and share a similar ideology as per their constitution.
And while Singh did criticize the censure of Jama by the Ontario government, he has remained silent on her removal from the Ontario NDP.
Jagmeet Singh’s comments follow Trudeau’s delayed action on Gaza
Singh’s comments and the backlash from several Canadians follow a row of staunch criticism by Canadians against Justin Trudeau’s “indirect” call for a ceasefire to Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu.
Trudeau’s comments on Tuesday, while welcomed, were considered to be not enough by several Canadians who demanded an immediate and direct call for ceasefire to end the killing of civilian Palestinians in Gaza.
On the same night, the prime minister was swarmed by a large group of pro-Palestine protesters at a Vancouver restaurant where they chanted “ceasefire now” and phrases like “shame on you” and “you have blood on your hands” to try and force Trudeau into calling for a ceasefire immediately.
While Trudeau may not have directly called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, his recent remarks hint at the possibility of calls for a ceasefire soon if Israel does not show restraint.