In videos that have recently gone viral in Canada, a group of pro-Palestine protesters can be seen entering a restaurant where Prime Minister Trudeau was present and chanting “ceasefire now” to bring an end to the killing of civilians in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
The Vancouver Police in a statement said almost 100 officers responded after approximately 250 people surrounded a Chinatown restaurant and escorted Trudeau out of the venue.
One of the many videos of the incident doing rounds on the web, shared by @palsolidarity on Instagram, shows Trudeau being heckled by protesters demanding “ceasefire now” at Vij’s, which is a restaurant in a different part of the city.
The protesters can also be heard urging Trudeau to “look at us” and using phrases like “shame on you,” “you fund genocides” and “you have blood on your hands” as they chased Trudeau out of the restaurant and into the street with the crowd growing impatient.
Later, the police arrested a man for assaulting a VPD officer and another for obstructing the police.
People applaud protesters for directing Canada’s attention to the need for a ceasefire
On social media, people praised the group of protesters for increasing pressure on Trudeau on calling for a ceasefire and bringing an immediate end to the killing of Palestinians in Gaza.
“whose voice is that so louddd???? thumbs up to youuuu lady!!” replied a user to the video shared by @palsolidarity on Instagram.
“So much respect for those who are fighting for humanity 🙌” joined another.
“So happy to see there are people with a conscience in this world. You don’t want innocent kids to have peace so why should you get to eat in peace??” said Bisma Parvez.
This comes as pressure mounts on the Liberal government over pressing demands from Canadians to call for an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East where more than 10,000 people have already died as a result of intense bombing in Gaza.
Trudeau and Netanyahu take aim at each other
Earlier on Tuesday, Justin Trudeau called on Israel to exercise “maximum restraint” in Gaza, a call that was met with a strong response by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who solely blamed Hamas for the loss of civilian lives in the conflicted region.
“All innocent life is equal in worth, Israeli and Palestinian. I urge the government of Israel to exercise maximum restraint,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says as he comments on the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
— CPAC (@CPAC_TV) November 14, 2023
“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.
Netanyahu continued explaining how Israel accommodates Palestinian civilians by providing them humanitarian corridors and safe zones in Gaza, however, interference by Hamas proves to be detrimental and puts civilians in danger.
“While Israel is doing everything to keep civilians out of harm’s way, Hamas is doing everything to keep them in harm’s way,” Netanyahu wrote 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.
While Israel is doing everything to keep civilians out of harm’s way, Hamas is doing…
— Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) November 15, 2023
Widespread dissatisfaction among Canadians over Justin Trudeau
While some Canadians believe that asking for “maximum restraint” is an improvement on his “Israel has the right to defend” stance from earlier, many remain dissatisfied with his leadership.
While some are disappointed in Trudeau’s inability to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, others are simply “just tired of him” as per the latest Leger poll for The Canadian Press. The poll revealed that half of those who took the survey want the prime minister to resign before the next election.
The main reasons listed by survey takers for the widespread dissatisfaction range from increasing unaffordability, housing, public debt to health care.
Trudeau’s approval rating continues to take massive hits in comparison to Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre who is gaining more ground by the day, discussing issues like axing the carbon tax, Canada’s position on Israel’s war with Hamas and unaffordable housing across major cities.
While Trudeau appears to be inching closer to calling for a ceasefire, he seems to be struggling to get it right with his electorate since none of his recent moves seem to land effectively with them, especially his ever-shifting stance on the Israel-Hamas war.
Canadian government and politics expert Nelson Wiseman says foreign policy has never been anywhere near the top criteria for Canadian voters during elections, but the dissatisfaction over other factors could certainly lead to his downfall.
“International developments have virtually nothing to do with how people vote in elections. Foreign policy that has ever mattered in a Canadian election is if it has anything to do with the United States,” Wiseman told Yahoo News Canada.
“And, no, the current war is not setting the stage for Trudeau’s resignation. Many people want a change after Trudeau’s successful terms and the low popularity is a direct result of that. Because they are down in the polls so there is growing pressure on him,” Wiseman concluded.