Jewish profs criticize Trudeau for comparing truckers to Nazis

The professors' letter references Trudeau’s Feb. 16 statement that Conservative Party members 'stand with people who wave swastikas.'

'I do not feel unsafe whatsoever because the protests are not violent, nor are they dangerous,' one student told Campus Reform during the convoy.

Over 20 Jewish professors and scholars called out Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his accusations that Freedom Convoy supporters are racists and “Nazi sympathizers.”

The Freedom Convoy was a demonstration by Canadian truckers that opposed the country's COVID-19 restrictions. 

"We, an apolitical group of Jewish Israeli medical scientists, physicians, researchers and legal scholars, some of us second or third generation Holocaust survivors, are deeply concerned by your attempt to stigmatize the Freedom Convoy 2022 protesters as Nazi ideology supporters,” the professors wrote in an open letter earlier this month.

The letter references Trudeau’s Feb. 16 statement that Conservative Party members “stand with people who wave swastikas.”

Other Canadian politicians have made similar remarks about protesters. Toronto Member of Parliament Ya’ara Saks claimed the slogan “honk honk,” often used to show support for the truckers, was an “acronym for heil Hitler.” 

“Honk honk” technically is not an acronym, according to the term’s definition

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Trudeau went beyond name-calling and imposed the Emergency Act last week, authorizing the freezing of bank accounts and police crackdown that included violence against protesters and journalists. He revoked the act on Wednesday. 

Campus Reform spoke with University of Ottawa student William Diaz-Berthiaume, who characterized the truckers' Freedom Convoy as "peaceful." 

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"There is absolutely nothing to be scared of since there has been absolutely no violence reported,” Diaz-Berthiaume said prior to Canada breaking up the convoy. "I do not feel unsafe whatsoever because the protests are not violent, nor are they dangerous.” 

Trudeau’s actions were also been heavily criticized by University of Toronto Professor Emeritus Jordan Peterson.

"If you think that current events qualify, think again," Peterson tweeted Feb. 22 in response to Trudeau's justification for imposing the Emergency Act. 

Campus Reform has reached out to the University of Ottawa as well as American professors Michael Levitt, Retsef Levi, and Eyal Shahar, who signed the letter, for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.