newsWorld News

Canadian politician urges all to ‘bring your Israel flags to Iranian rallies’

“I think the Jewish community has more allies than they realize,” says Goldie Ghamari, who was born in Iran and comes from a Muslim background.

At a “Stand with the People of Iran” rally in downtown Ottawa, Canada, on Sept. 25, 2022. Credit: Staff of Canadian Provincial Parliament member Goldie Ghamari.
At a “Stand with the People of Iran” rally in downtown Ottawa, Canada, on Sept. 25, 2022. Credit: Staff of Canadian Provincial Parliament member Goldie Ghamari.

The first woman of Iranian descent to become a member of a Canadian provincial parliament wants Jews to know that they are not as isolated as they may think.

“The Jewish community has more allies than they realize,” Goldie Ghamari, 39, who was born in Iran and has a Muslim family background, told JNS. “Iranians do not hate you. The Islamic regime does. We’re united. We’re allies. We’re on the same side.”

Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel has “shown the Jewish community who their allies are and who stands with them,” added Ghamari.

Ghamari, who represents the riding of Carleton in Ontario delivered an emotional speech before the Ontario legislature in support of Israel on Oct. 17. “These terrorists shot dogs. They executed Holocaust survivors,” she said. “They laughed.”

“What Hamas did is absolutely an act of monstrous barbarity,” she said. “Now is the time for moral clarity. Not moral relativism.”

She added that her heart breaks for every innocent life lost, “but let me be very clear—be they Palestinian, Israeli, Canadian or foreign nationals—Hamas is responsible, absolutely responsible, for every single innocent life lost in this war. Full stop.”

Nevertheless, acknowledged Ghamari, “as reports of the gruesome and horrific massacre came out, the response here in Canada was just as vile. Canadians looked on in shock and disgust as people took to the streets dancing, celebrating and passing out sweets in response to Hamas’s terrorist attack.”

Many Iranians think very differently of Israel and Jews, Ghamari said in that speech and reiterated to JNS. They oppose the Islamic Republic, which oppresses Iranians in Iran and funds the proxies who attack Israel. She noted that Iran’s lion-and-sun flag—the pre-revolutionary emblem—can be seen prominently at pro-Israel rallies, and the hashtag #IraniansStandwithIsrael trended on social media for days.

“Come out and bring your Israel flags to Iranian rallies. We love to see them,” she told JNS. “We’re all united, and if you bring your Israeli flag, you will be amongst friends, and you will be more than welcome. We would love to have you there.”

She also stressed the importance of Canada designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officially as a terror group, something she said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has refused to do.

“I would encourage the Jewish community to assist the Iranian community by putting pressure on the federal government, but also paying attention to the next federal election,” she said. “Which parties have committed to listing the IRGC on the Canadian terrorist list? There’s only one federal party that has committed to doing that.” (A member of the Progressive Conservative Party, she referred to the Conservatives.)

‘The Canadian dream’

With a newly minted electrical engineering graduate degree from Texas Southern University in Houston, Ghamari’s father moved back to Iran with her mother as the revolution began in 1978. In 1986, when Ghamari was one—and after an assassination attempt on her father—the family immigrated to Canada, landing in Montreal with just two suitcases.

“That first night they came here, they slept in an apartment on some newspapers. I slept on my father’s jacket. They basically wanted to live the Canadian dream,” Ghamari told JNS.

Goldie Ghamari, MP Canada
At a “Stand With the People of Iran” rally in downtown Ottawa, Canada, on Oct. 1, 2022. Credit: Staff of Canadian provincial parliament member Goldie Ghamari.

Her parents didn’t speak enough French to find work. The family moved to Toronto, where Ghamari’s father got a job as an electrician. Once Ghamari and her sister were old enough to go to school, their mother, who hadn’t been able to attend university during the First Gulf War, went to school and found work as a social worker.

In 1990, the family returned to Iran, when Ghamari was 5, for an extended visit with relatives, during which she attended Iranian schools. Teachers told her to chant “Death to America, Death to Israel,” she told JNS. When she relayed that to her parents, they said they’d discuss the matter back in Canada; it was dangerous to support Israel in Iran.

“It’s a crime that’s punishable by death,” she said. “This was coming directly from the Islamic regime and state TV. It was not coming from my family.”

Goldie Ghamari, MP Canada
Canadian Provincial Parliament member Goldie Ghamari speaking at a “Women on the Frontlines” event, sponsored by the Council of Muslims Against Antisemitism and held in North York, Toronto, on March 3, 2024. Credit: Council of Muslims Against Antisemitism.

“I understood that these are lies. Israel is a friend. The regime is the enemy of the Iranian people,” she added.

As a child in the Canadian public school system, Ghamari learned about Chanukah and the Holocaust. As a teen, she read The Diary of Anne Frank.

“There was never a non-complimentary view of Israel within my social sphere,” she told JNS. “My perception of Jewish people, Israel, is the exact same perception that my parents have, that my family has, that the vast majority of Iranians have.”

She earned a biochemical engineering degree from the University of Toronto, where she also studied political science, and then went on to obtain a law degree from the University of Ottawa.

“I’ve always been interested in human rights and learning more about how to make the world a better place,” she said. “Political science was a good way to get a better understanding of why certain countries are the way they are.”

She sees many of the antisemitic criticisms leveled against Israel as actually true of the Iranian regime.

“Talk about an ‘open-air prison.’ Talk about ‘gender apartheid.’ Those are terms that apply to the Islamic regime in Iran,” she told JNS. “It’s a walking death sentence because you could be executed at any time for any reason.”

Goldie Ghamari, MP Canada
Canadian Provincial Parliament member Goldie Ghamari. Credit: Courtesy.

“As long as those Islamofascist ayatollahs are there, not only will there be no peace for Iranians, but there’s not gonna be any peace for Israel, anyone in the Middle East, anyone around the world,” she added. “They spread their terrorist propaganda all around the world, and it’s very concerning to see.”

Ghamari called the recent visit of Iranian crown prince Reza Pahlavi to Israel last year, including his visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem and his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “historic.”

“It just goes to show the history and the dedication,” she said. “Just that shared allyship has always been there between Iran and Israel.”

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war.

JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you.

The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support?

Every contribution, big or small, helps remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates