Jewish group blames antisemitism for 17 cancelled buses to pro-Israel rally

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OTTAWA — A Toronto Jewish group believes antisemitism is behind 17 buses being cancelled ahead of a rally in Ottawa planned for Monday afternoon.

Thousands of Jewish Canadians and their allies are expected on Parliament Hill for a rally in support of Israel and against antisemitism in Canada and around the world, many of them travelling from Toronto and Montreal.

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Adam Minsky, President and CEO of the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) Federation of Greater Toronto said 17 buses meant to take people from Toronto to the Ottawa rally simply didn’t show up on Monday morning.

“We were shocked that, of more than 70 buses UJA booked, 17 did not show up. Those 17 buses were the responsibility of a particular sub-contracted company. Despite charging in full in advance and confirming its participation, the company did not send a single bus and has declined all communications while refusing to provide any explanation,” said Minsky.

Minsky said they have made alternate arrangements, but the last-minute cancellation combined with the silence from the bus company left them with no other conclusion than this was an act of antisemitism.

“We are driven to the view that this shameful decision is intended to disrupt our peaceful rally out of hatred toward Jews,” he said. “What happened today is sickening and outrageous. We will respond aggressively with every legal and public affairs tool at our disposal.”

The UJA identified the subcontractor as Prestige Worldwide Transportation Network LLC, owned by Mohammed Ashfaq. The National Post attempted to contact the company on Monday, but the number had been disconnected.

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