On Monday, October 19th, the Canadian parliament will hold elections, possibly jeopardizing the pro-Israel stance of its government. The Conservative-led Canadian government has been one of Israel’s best friends for nine years, standing up for Israel time and again in international bodies such as the United Nations, as well as the G8, under the leadership of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Breaking Israel News spoke with Ilan Mann, a Conservative party activist working on the campaign of an incumbent MP (Member of Parliament) for Thornhill, which has a very strong Jewish representation. Mann described why it is so important for people who care about Israel, Jews and non-Jews alike, to vote for the Conservative Party of Canada.
“The Conservative government’s record on Israel has been second to none, both in Canadian history, and in the international community,” he explained. “This is represented clearly by the fact that several Israeli and Canadian publications have commented that Harper is ‘Israel’s best friend.’”
In January 2014, Israel honored Harper by giving him the “Key to the Knesset” in thanks for his friendship. Harper, in an address to the Knesset, told the Israeli people and the world that Canada will stand with Israel through fire and water.
Harper’s “morality doctrine” has been the lynchpin of his government’s foreign policy for the Middle East, often garnering bad press for Canada. When Canada’s bid for a coveted seat on the United Nations Security Council was rejected, the Conservative government’s Israel stance was cited by its critics as a possible explanation why.
“The Conservative Party of Canada recognizes Israel as a beacon of freedom in a region plagued by oppression, tyranny and terror, which is why we will continue to stand with Israel on the world stage,” said Mann. Indeed, the Harper government has not flinched from the proverbial slap in the face it received from the United Nations, even going so far as to harshly criticize the international body by calling it a “debate club for dictators.”
It seems that other parties vying for control over the Canadian parliament are looking to appear strong on Israel as well. According to Mann, “This election, every party has tried to emulate the Conservative Party’s principled position on the Canada-Israel relationship.”
However, Mann added, this newly adopted stance may not be as genuine as it seems for the Liberal or National Democratic Party (NDP). “The reality is, that actions speak louder than words,” Mann said. “The Conservative Party is the only party that is not running, and will not run, a single anti-Israel or anti-Semitic candidate.”
“The Conservative Party will never take the middle road when it comes to the only democracy in the Middle East,” he added.
Mann said that the track records of other candidates running for office speak for themselves. “The NDP ranks are ripe with anti-Israel candidates, including star candidate Andrew Cash, who has spoken in favor of the BDS movement,” he pointed out.
Mann also noted that the Liberal party’s list features anti-Israel MPs. “The Liberal ticket includes Omar Alghabra, former head of the Canadian Arab Federation, who has refused to condemn Palestinian suicide bombers as terrorists, doesn’t believe that Hamas is committed to the elimination of Israel and said that Israel’s actions in defense of its citizen during last year’s operation in Gaza were ‘blind and cruel’,” he told Breaking Israel News.
Mann compared the empty rhetoric of other parties to the Conservative Party’s consistently pro-Israel actions. “Meanwhile, the Conservatives have spoken publicly against the BDS movement, have stood by Israel in the face of rockets and ongoing terror, and defunded the Canadian Arab Federation for their support of terrorism and promotion of anti-Semitism,” he said.
“When it comes to the question of the Canada-Israel relationship, there has never, in our short history as friend and allies, been a starker choice,” he concluded.
Canadians go to the polls on Monday, October 19th, in what is shaping up to be one of the closest elections in Canadian history. According to current election polls, the Liberal party has a strong lead. What this will mean for Canada’s close relationship with Israel remains to be seen.