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Israel deplores Canada's change of tone towards it

Photo: Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press Israeli Ambassador to Ottawa, Iddo Moed

Israel feels unfairly targeted when the Trudeau government insists on the importance of respecting international law in the armed conflict in Gaza, deplores l Israeli ambassador to Canada.

“It sounds like a critical observation, something that reflects dissatisfaction with the way Israel manages its army,” says Iddo Moed. The diplomat spoke with Le DevoirThursday as part of celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Israel and Canada. “Seventy-five years later, we again face an environment where many Arabs do not support Israel's right to exist,” he adds, comparing it to the time of creation. of the country, in 1948.

Even if he describes Canadian support for his country as “strong and solid”, he regretfully notes a change in the Trudeau government's speech on this chapter.

Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, for example, commented on Tuesday on the armed conflict between Israel and Hamas, repeating that “all parties must respect international law, including international humanitarian law.” She signaled her intention to “respect the process” of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is considering a request for an international arrest warrant against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes and crimes against humanity, as the act of deliberately starving civilians.

Disappointed by Canada

“This court does not have jurisdiction in this case because Palestine is not recognized by Canada as a state, because Israel is not a member [of the ICC], and because Israel~ “Canada is aware of all of this, and we would have expected Canada to mention it, while rejecting out of hand any attempt by the ICC prosecutor to subvert international law in order to tie Israel's hands while the country defends. »

Canada's abstention during a vote at the United Nations (UN) aimed at making Palestine a member state on May 10 also concerned him. “We would have liked Canada to oppose it. »

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau presented this abstention as “a fundamental change in Canada's approach” towards Israel. The United States, for its part, voted against this resolution at the UN.

“Historically, Canada has been one of the strongest defenders of Israel” , confirms Jean-Philippe Thérien, full professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Montreal. He speaks of Canada's abstention at the UN as a “small side step” in a foreign policy “that leans more towards the Israeli side” and is strongly aligned with that of the United States.

Justin Trudeau also described this week as “problematic” the “suggestion of equivalence” that he sees in the request from the ICC prosecutor which targets both Israeli and Hamas officials, repeating in his words a criticism of American President Joe Biden.

Possible slippage

“There is always had this balance in Canada, between being a friend of Israel and recognizing the legitimate rights of the Palestinian population to their desire for national affirmation. [But] we sense a worrying shift on the part of the federal government, a move away from this policy,” deplores Richard Marceau, vice-president of the Advisory Center for Jewish and Israeli Relations.

The latter, who was a member of the Bloc Québécois from 1997 to 2006, argues that it is “extremely difficult for Quebecers” to grasp the reality of the Israeli people, constantly under threat from “people who are fundamentally bad and who have a genocidal desire.”

“We see innocent [Gaza civilians] killed, injured, it's horrible. People say it has to stop, and on the one hand, I agree with that. [But] when a group like Hamas says it would repeat the October 7 attacks if it had the chance […] then it must be eradicated. »

Some Liberal and Conservative elected officials attended the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Israel and Canada organized in Ottawa by the Israeli Embassy, ​​where there was a strong presence of Parliament's security service. Montreal MP Anthony Housefather took the floor to invite elected officials to “raise awareness among their colleagues” about the importance of supporting Israel. “You need the support of representatives of all parties in Parliament,” he told the audience.

Canada has recognized the state of 'Israel at the time of its founding in 1948, and the two countries established formal diplomatic relations on May 11, 1949.

On Thursday, Israel's food agency The UN said humanitarian operations in Gaza were “close to collapse”, a result of the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip and the closure of border crossings.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116