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City of Barrie shows support for its Jewish community

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Heavy hearts gathered at Barrie's waterfront Wednesday for a flag half-masting ceremony supporting Israel.

The event was held to recognize the killed and missing Canadians in the Israel-Hamas war and to support those in mourning.

"What hurts me the most is seeing the killing and murder of children, of women. The conduct towards women. More than one tear has been shed from me on this. My heart goes out to the families and to the community," said Barrie Mayor Alex Nuttall.

Flags around the city have been lowered to half-mast to support Jewish community members.

"I wouldn't want any community to be mourning alone. The whole idea here in the City of Barrie is that everybody is welcome, and we're to support and help each other," said Nuttall.

Barrie Innisfil MP John Brassard said now is a critical time to come together, to comfort each other, and to call for peace.

"It's consistent with what we've been seeing right across the country. We saw the other night in Toronto over 15,000 people in Mel Lastman Square supporting the State of Israel, supporting Israel's right to defend itself," Brassard said.

An Israeli flag is raised and lowered to half-mast in Barrie, Ont., on Wed., Oct. 11, 2023. (CTV News/Catalina Gillies)

"It's been very difficult. Especially the fact that this happened on Simchat Torah, which is a very joyous holiday for us Jewish people. What we've seen the past few days by Hamas is absolute evil," said Rabbi Mendel Nakkar with the Chabad Jewish Centre of Barrie.

However, Nakkar acknowledged the support the Jewish community has seen locally and across the country has been heartwarming.

"We know that we're not alone, that pretty much everybody in the world wants peace. They support Israel. They realize human life is valuable, human life should be respected," said Nakkar.

Meridan Place and the Barrie sign will be lit up in blue and white over the next few days as another show of support for Israel.

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