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Statement by Prime Minister Trudeau on Israel Independence day and Statement by Andrew Scheer on Israel

May 8, 2019

Ottawa, Ontario - May 8, 2019

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel Independence Day:

“Tonight at sundown, we join Israelis, Jewish communities, and others in Canada and around the world to celebrate the 71st anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel.

“This year is special, as we also mark 70 years of diplomatic ties between Canada and Israel. Since 1949, our two countries have been close friends, steadfast allies, and partners in many international organizations. When the President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, visited Canada just a few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to celebrate this important anniversary – and to make those ties even stronger.

“Canada will continue to stand proudly with Israel, including through our strong support for Israel at the United Nations. That’s why, earlier this week, we condemned the rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups. And we will continue to condemn BDS and any movement that attacks our Israeli friends, Jewish Canadians, and the values we share.

“Our close friendship is thanks in large part to Canada’s Jewish community, and the deep connections between people in our two countries. That’s just one of many examples of the major role Jewish Canadians play to help our country thrive.

“For many Jewish communities, this year has been a difficult one, with recent brutal, antisemitic attacks fresh in our minds. Attacks against the Jewish community are attacks against all of us. We will always combat antisemitism and hatred in all its forms – and together, we’ll keep working to make our world a better one.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I wish everyone celebrating this historic day a Yom Ha’atzmaut Sameach.”


Statement by Andrew Scheer on Israel

To stand up for pluralism and democracy Canada must renew our support for Israel and its inherent right to defend itself, by itself. Terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah have absolutely no interest in peace. Since their inception, the leaders of Hamas have been trying to destroy Israel. When Israel gives them the concrete they need to build hospitals and schools, Hamas instead builds tunnels to kill civilians. When the world gives Hamas money to feed the Palestinian people, Hamas buys rockets to indiscriminately target Israelis.

The reality of the Middle East is this: if Israel’s enemies were to lay down their arms tomorrow, there would be peace. If Israel were to lay down its arms, there would be no more Israel.

This is why it is so disappointing to me that the current government has abandoned Canada’s principled support for Israel. It abstained on a key vote condemning the United States for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

When Israel’s borders came under attack from Hamas terrorists, as they have in recent days, we must support Israel’s right to defend itself and recognize Hamas’s direct responsibility in inciting violence and the loss of life. Canada must be ready and reliable when Israel needs to count on their democratic friend and ally, Canada.

I want to be very clear as well that under my leadership extending a hand of friendship to the Palestinian people will be a priority. The Palestinian people want the same things that all people want – freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

This will come, not through incitement to violence, but through the peaceful negotiations. I do not believe that giving money to highly flawed organizations like UNRWA (as the Liberals have done) advances the cause of peace or partnership. And the Palestinian people are denied democracy, not by Israel, but by their own government.

If the values of pluralism, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law are to prevail, it is time, once again, for the free speaking and democratic peoples of the world to reinvigorate old alliances and build new ones – alliance with other free democracies and with peoples who are seeking free democracy. We can and we will find common cause, and ensure that freedom prevails in this century, just as it did in the past.



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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.