A Jewish group is demanding the resignation of a Quebec mayor who said Israel shouldn’t exist.
Stephane Gendron said Israel is an apartheid state and expressed hope for its demise, in remarks made Dec. 27 on a daily television show he hosts, . He said “products being made in Israel, on land stolen from Palestinians, who are kept walled in by an apartheid regime where they are cut off…it’s very serious.”
“And a country like that does not deserve to exist,” said Gendron, the mayor of Huntingdon, Quebec, a small town southwest of Montreal.
Members of the Jewish Defense League picketed in front of Huntingdon’s city hall Jan. 26, demanding Gendron step down as mayor or be fired. JDL Canada spokesman Meir Weinstein said about 20 people protested and the group intends to keep up the pressure for Gendron to step down.
The mayor’s remarks were “dangerous, inflammatory and un-Canadian,” Weinstein told Canadian Press.
The day after he made his inflammatory remarks, Gendron said he was sorry if he offended anyone. Reading from a statement, he said Jews have a right to form a state. However, he said he also has the right to denounce Israeli government policies concerning Palestinians, which doesn’t make him an anti-Semite.
He said he doesn’t want to talk about the issue anymore.