May 26th, 2024

Israel national day: Israeli flag raised at Ottawa City Hall with little fanfare

By The Canadian Press on May 14, 2024.

The flags of Canada and Israel fly in Ottawa on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – Israel’s flag was flying at Ottawa City Hall early this morning in honour of the country’s national day, but there was no public ceremony to mark the occasion.

Instead, the city says the Jewish Federation of Ottawa organized a private event and officials refused to say when or where it was happening.

City officials said they had information to suggest holding a public event posed a risk to public safety, but they gave no details.

The decision to forgo a flag-raising ceremony sparked backlash from the Jewish community, including federal politicians such as Liberal MP Anthony Housefather and Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman, who urged the city to go ahead with the event.

Last Friday, Mayor Mark Sutcliffe posted on social media that he had asked police and the city to come up with a way to hold the event safely, but city officials said Monday that would not happen.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators who gathered outside city hall this morning claimed victory, saying they had forced the cancellation of what they called a “genocidal flag-raising” ceremony.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 14, 2024.

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