Gaza War

Canadian politician: Bring Israeli flags to Iranian rallies


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 is of Muslim heritage, told JNS. “Iranians do not hate you. The Islamic regime does. We’re united. We’re allies. We’re on the same side.”

Hamas’ 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 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.”

“Now is the time for moral clarity. Not moral relativism,” she said.

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, Ghamari acknowledged, “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’ terrorist attack.”

Many Iranians think very differently of Israel and Jews than does the Iranian government, Ghamari said. 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.”

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.

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 said. 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.”

“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” in Canada, she said. “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 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.”

“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 Kotel and his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “historic.”