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Israel will defend itself despite Commons motion, says its ambassador to Canada

Photo: Adrian Wyld The Canadian Press Israeli Ambassador to Canada, Iddo Moed, during a speech given on January 26 at the National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa

Dylan Robertson – The Canadian Press in Ottawa

March 21, 2024

  • Canada

Israel's ambassador to Canada won't say whether this week's motion in the House of Commons to end future arms exports to his country will actually have an impact on war with Hamas.

Iddo Moed says the vote was “really disturbing for many Israelis,” particularly at a time when they remain traumatized by the group that Canada considers a terrorist organization.

Most Liberal MPs joined New Democrats in supporting a motion on Monday calling on Canada to stop its military exports to Israel, for fear that the war in the Gaza Strip would cause too many Palestinian casualties.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly also confirmed media reports that Canada had stopped approving permits in early January for human rights reasons.< /p>

Israel's foreign minister said the vote would undermine Israel's ability to defend itself.

But Mr. Moed would not say whether the motion will actually harm the Israeli military campaign.

“I don’t think that’s something I’d like to discuss at the moment,” he replied Wednesday.

“Anyway, we are a strong country, we have a strong army, and I don't think it's a big thing to understand that we will be able to continue to defend ourselves. »

Companies can still apply for permits to export military goods, but Ottawa will not make a decision at this time, Joly's office said.

Monday's motion related to weapons, but officials say it applies to all military goods and technology subject to Canadian licensing rules, such as radars or cameras.

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Respect for human rights

Before the motion was passed on Monday, Minister Joly told the Commons that Canada had not approved any military licenses to export goods to Israel since January 8.

This is due to “our inability to confirm that human rights are being respected and, of course, that the requirements of our export regime will be met,” she explained.

When asked about this concern, Mr. Moed said he could not comment on how Canadian authorities assess these situations, but he maintained that Israel respects human rights .

“I don't think the situation on the ground has changed significantly,” he said of the January policy change.

“From our perspective, we have been defending human rights since day one; we have ensured that we respect all our international obligations at all times,” he assured.

He added that this involves trying to get “as much aid as possible” to Gaza and “ensuring that as many Palestinians (as possible) remain out of harm's way at all times.”< /p>

Ottawa and Washington have argued that Israel is not doing enough to limit casualties and ensure sufficient aid reaches Palestinian civilians.

Monday's motion caused friction within the Liberal caucus, with three MPs voting against it, including one who is considering his future within the party.

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