It was just a year ago, in October 2015, that liberals swept to power in Canada. It was a continuation of a spate of wins in North America, which included a mayoral race in New York City in 2013, and, of course, eight years of US President Barack Obama winning in 2008 and 2012.
The rush in liberal wins produced a retreat from several conservatives values. Will the liberal Canadian Prime Minister similarly back away from Israel the way Obama did in the US?
The treatment of Israel by President Obama was atrocious from the very beginning. It started with his complete disregard of the April 2004 letter from President George W. Bush to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon which assured Israel that it would not return to the 1949 Armistice Lines / the “1967 border.” The treatment of Israel devolved from there, including Obama’s leading a Democratic boycott of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of congress in 2015.
In sharp contrast to Obama, the new Canadian Prime Minister showed early support of Israel, backing the conservative party’s measure in February 2016 to ban the BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) Movement against Israel in schools. Trudeau commented “The BDS movement, like Israeli Apartheid Week, has no place on Canadian campuses.”
A month later, in March 2016, Trudeau said “Israel is a friend, Israel is an ally, Israel is a country that has values and an approach on many, many issues that are very much aligned with Canadians values. But, at the same time… we won’t hesitate from talking about unhelpful steps like the continued illegal settlements. We will point that out.” He continued his general support of Israel saying that “the demonization, the de-legitimization or the double standard that’s often applied to Israel [at the United Nations]is not helping reach the two-state solution of a peaceful, democratic Palestinian state alongside a peaceful, democratic Israel.”
The early comments from the liberal leader seemed promising, almost in tune with his conservative predecessor, Stephen Harper, a strong ally and supporter of Israel.
But Trudeau’s pivot to the darker forces – and in particular those parties that seek to actively harm Israel – would soon surface.
First, in January 2016, Trudeau stated that Canada sought to restart relations with Iran, a country which promised to wipe Israel from the map. By June 2016, it became public that official dialogue with the official state-sponsor of terrorism had begun.
Second, on November 16, 2016, the Canadian liberal government announced that it was resuming funding of UNRWA, the UN relief agency that supports the descendants of displaced Palestinian Arabs. The previous conservative Canadian government had cut off funding to UNRWA in 2010, after it became known that the organization was closely tied to the terrorist group Hamas. Needless to say, the United Nations was very pleased with the C$25 million donation to assist “5.3 million Palestine refugees.” (Note that there are really only an estimated 30,000 Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war.)
As detailed in “UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews,” UNRWA undermines the possibility of peace between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs at its core. It fosters a festering Israeli-Arab war, while the organization robs funding from actual refugees from around the world in need of real relief.
Lastly, Trudeau has followed Obama’s lead in never condemning “radical Islamic terrorism,” but only a generic form of terrorism. This was true regarding his comments about terrorism in Orlando, Nice, Paris, Brussels, and those targeting Canadian citizens in the Philippines.
The Canadian Liberals’ resumption of funding UNRWA, and its move to reestablish ties with Iran are disturbing moves against Israel and a reversal of the policies instituted by the previous conservative government. Time will tell whether Canadian liberals follow the US in The Democrats’ Slide on Israel.
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