May 27th, 2024

Ottawa cancels public ceremony for Israeli flag-raising, citing security concerns

By The Canadian Press on May 8, 2024.

The City of Ottawa has cancelled the ceremony surrounding the raising of Israel's flag at city hall due to security concerns. Canadian and Israeli flags fly in Ottawa on Wednesday, October 11, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – City officials say they’ve cancelled a flag-raising ceremony at Ottawa City Hall to mark the establishment of Israel because of security concerns.

The flag will be raised next Tuesday, but a ceremony involving the mayor, diplomats and members of the Jewish community will not go ahead.

The city says it has intelligence that suggests the event would pose a substantial risk to public safety, though it is not offering details.

The group Ottawa 4 Palestine had shared on social media that it planned to protest at the event.

Deborah Lyons, Canada’s envoy for combating antisemitism, condemned the decision to cancel the event and says Jewish Canadians should not be prevented from living public lives.

Mayor Mark Sutcliffe says he’s disappointed at the decision, blaming “escalating threats and hostility” in a social-media post.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 8, 2024.

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