International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Dear Community,

Today, January 27th is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Today we remember the organized murder of 6 million Jews along with the millions more killed for their sexuality, race, political views, religion, and disability by Nazi Germany and its allies between 1939 and 1945. Little children who never saw their dreams fulfilled and families who lived their entire lives with the unthinkable grief of having seen their loved ones murdered in front of their eyes.  

Let us also remember where bigotry leads. It leads to a disavowal of human rights. It leads humans to a place where people become objects. Once we objectify people and equate difference with ‘lesser than’ it becomes that much easier to hate, to disqualify feelings and lived experiences, and to hurt one another. 

Unavoidably, discussion of the Holocaust in this moment in history will be seen through the prism of the current war and humanitarian crisis happening in Israel and Palestine. While I will continue to call for a ceasefire, an end to the atrocious occupation, and insist on the necessity of a just settlement that respects the rights of both Jewish and Palestinian people, I also know that the Hamas terror attack of October 7, 2023 that killed 1400 Jews—more in any one day since the Holocaust—and other examples of antisemitism have created a very real fear in many Jewish Canadians, whether they have family in the region or not. The rise in anti-Semitic and anti-Palestinian hate speech and behaviours here in Canada, many in response to these events, is enraging to me. We, non-Jews, must continue to support our Jewish neighbours as they mourn during this difficult time and as many of them continue to call for ceasefires demonstrating the humane capacity to care for both ones own and other innocents who are being killed through government and military actions.  

I want to take this opportunity to restate my support for the immediate release of all hostages still held by Hamas. Women’s bodies are often sites of significant violence and harm during projects of war, genocide, and colonialism. Often on the frontlines they are raped, defaced, and used as bargaining chips. This is a truth that I know all too well as a Black person reflecting on the assaults on Black women and girls often faced during the transatlantic slave trade. As a survivor of child sexual abuse and rape, I want to restate my support for and belief in women who are survivors of rape and sexual violence and this includes Jewish women. It includes all women including Palestinian political prisoners.   
On this day of significance, I unapologetically restate my support for a ceasefire that ends the violence that is causing the murder of Israeli and Palestinian innocents in the past four months. As we acknowledge the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we can never forget our role in upholding humanity. Our existence is inextricably linked with one another – every last one of us. None of us are exempt. We remember and by remembering, we commit to ensuring these hateful, deadly atrocities never happening again. Never happen again to anyone.  



Dr. Jill Andrew, Ph.D

MPP for Toronto-St. Paul's

Latest posts

Take action

Protect Our Greenbelt
Bring Back REAL Rent Control!
Close the Gap
Support Education Workers: Stop Bill 28

Sign up for updates

Find us on social media

Make a provincial donation

Make a federal donation