Suburb’s Jewish mayor Jeremy Levi said Israel’s campaign in Gaza is a battle between ‘good and evil’
The mayor of the Montreal suburb of Hampstead Jeremy Levi has said that, regardless of the number of children’s lives taken, he would continue to support Israel in its ongoing offensive in Gaza.
More than 18,200 people have so far died in the nine-week bombardment of Gaza, health officials in the besieged enclave said on Monday, as Israel’s retaliatory campaign in response to Hamas’ October 7 cross-border attack continues at pace. Israeli officials say that 1,147 of its citizens were killed in the October assault, while another 240 were seized as hostages.
But as international condemnation of Israel’s siege of Gaza swells, Levi – who was elected last year to govern the predominantly Jewish Hampstead community – has said that Israel’s military offensive must continue until “good” prevails over “evil.”
“I’m not calling for a ceasefire,” Levi said in a video posted to social media on Monday by Yves Engler, a vocal critic of Israel. “I want the hostages home, but I’m not calling for a ceasefire.”
The mayor added about the increasing death toll in Gaza, particularly deaths of children: “I would never support [the killing of children], it’s terrible. But Israel has to do whatever they have to do to protect the security of their own people.”
The Palestinian ministry of health has said that about 70% of those killed in the enclave since Israel’s offensive began are women and children under the age of 18. United Nations humanitarian officials said late last month that about 160 children are being killed each day in Gaza, or one child every ten minutes.
UNICEF spokesman James Elder added to reporters in Geneva in November that conditions are deteriorating further, and forecasted a deepening humanitarian crisis “if youngsters continue to have restricted access to water and sanitation in Gaza.”
“Hamas must be eradicated completely,” Levi continued in his video clip. “[The collateral death toll] is terrible, but there is no other way. My heart goes out to all the innocent people who have suffered great loss in this tragedy, but good needs to prevail over evil.”
Asked if he would continue to support Israel if 100,000 children were killed, Levi said: “You can give me all sorts of numbers, my answer is going to be the same: Israel needs to eradicate Hamas.”
Last month, Levi imposed a bylaw in the Hampstead community which would see anyone who tore down a poster of missing Israeli citizens fined CAN$1,000 – with the money being donated directly to Israel.
December 12, 2023 at 05:58PM