Canadian Embassy FB page: valuable source of information on Canada-Israel relations

goodale embassy

Ralph Goodale (centre front), Canada’s Minister of Public Safety recently visited Israel. Here he is with our Embassy staff in Tel Aviv. The Embassy’s Facebook page is a great source of information for anyone interested in knowing what Canadians are visiting (and doing business with) Israel. Read more…

Canada has two diplomatic missions in Israel/Palestine – a full embassy in Tel Aviv and a smaller “office” in Ramallah (since Canada does not recognize Palestine as a state, our mission there is not called an embassy.)

The Canadian Embassy in Tel Aviv, and its approximately 30 staff members, are led by Ambassador Deborah Lyon, a career diplomat whose previous posting was as Ambassador to Afghanistan.

Under Lyon’s direction, the Embassy produces a very active Facebook page with regular updates on trade, cultural, political and personal links between Canada and Israel. If you are interested in knowing who is visiting Israel, or what companies are doing business there, the FB page is a valuable source.

Recent posts on the FB page show for example:

Posts also show many private Canadian links to Israel

chantal bowen

Chantal Bowen (top left) of Montreal’s Youth Media Alliance is apparently not concerned by the BDS movement. She was in Israel to increase collaboration with Israeli companies making children’s films.

(None of these organizations appear concerned by the ongoing campaign to boycott Israel called BDS.)

And philanthropy too…

  • Canadian billionaire Marcel Adams (a 97 year old holocaust survivor) has given $1 million in scholarship funding to the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

Of course a lot of the interaction between Canada and Israel never makes it into the Embassy FB pages. But even a quick review gives a glimpse of the extent and depth of the economic, political, academic and cultural links between Canada and Israel. The FB page has over 26,000 “likes”.

Israel’s Palestinian citizens not completely forgotten..

The Embassy’s FB page did also show a little sign of concern for Israel’s Palestinian citizens, who constitute 20% of the Israeli population. It reported for example that Ambassador Lyons hosted a briefing by Israeli human rights organizations Gisha and Yesh Din on Gaza access policy and West Bank settlements. The event was attended by more than 30 participants from the diplomatic community in Israel. “Canada believes that a vibrant civil society is an integral part of all democracies,” noted the Ambassador.

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12 comments

  1. Peter, apros-pos of your comments regarding the campaign for BDS and Chantal Bowen’s participation as a juror in the Tel Aviv International Children’s Film Festival, it is only fair to point out that the Toronto Palestinian Film Festival recently screened five Israeli films. They too seem unconcerned about the cultural boycott.

    Perhaps cultural ties should be seen as positive and a way to further the cause of peace, rather than a cause for concern.

    1. David, thanks for your comments.
      As you know, CTIP is not a member of the BDS movement, although we do support it’s three basic democratic demands.

      Perhaps someone more knowledgeable can respond to the point you raise about BDS. and the Toronto Palestinian Film Festival.

      CTIP encourages cultural contacts between individual Israelis, Palestinians and Canadians.

      1. David and Peter: It would appear that the Toronto Palestinian Film Festival does indeed adhere to the BDS Guidelines. Following is the relevant excerpt: “Israeli cultural products that are funded by official Israeli bodies but not commissioned or otherwise attached to any political strings are not per se subject to boycott. “Political strings” here specifically refer to conditions that obligate a fund recipient to directly or indirectly serve the Israeli government’s or a complicit institution’s rebranding or propaganda efforts. Israeli cultural products that receive state funding as part of the individual cultural worker’s entitlement as a tax-paying citizen, without her/him being bound to serve the state’s political and propaganda interests, are not boycottable.” (https://bdsmovement.net/pacbi/cultural-boycott-guidelines).

        Palestinian-Israeli director of ‘In Between’, Maysaloun Hamoud, has stated: “I didn’t hesitate to turn to the Israeli film funds for money. Why shouldn’t I? We are 20% of the population, we pay taxes. We are Palestinians and we are Israelis and people don’t know what to make of this.” (http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/A-new-wave-481730).

      2. @Grafton Ross – the BDS guidelines for the Palestinian film festival are a moot point because no serious Israeli director will accept political strings, and anyway the ministry of culture and education doesn’t employ screenwriters.
        The reality is that Israeli-Palestinian movies cannot be ignored, and a significant portion of the Arabic speaking critically acclaimed movies of the last decade are Israeli movies.

  2. Thanks for this Peter.

    It illustrates the level of integration of the current Canadian government with Israel. It also shows the seeming willful blindness of our government toward Israel’s ongoing colonization of Palestine and ongoing violations of Security Council resolutions, the Fourth Geneva Convention and a plethora of international human rights and humanitarian laws against Palestinians.

    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.”

  3. Sunny wais indeed.
    Thank you Peter for this positive and optimistic review
    I’m so happy that neither of us is sarcastic

    1. Ahik, i sense that you are being sarcastic, but my post was not meant to be so.

      As you know, I am critical of many of Israel’s activities.

      But i do think it a good idea to have a realistic idea of the breadth and depth of Israel’s business and political contacts with Canada.

      For that reason, I find the Embassy FB page very useful.

  4. Peter I too find it useful. Thanks for this report.

    The Embassy used to also be the representative to the PA and thus was not permitted to show a pro-Israel bias. This has all cleverly disappeared with the de facto low profile representation in Ramallah, which is not on any kind of equal footing with the Tel Aviv embassy when it comes to the key role of reporting back to Ottawa.

  5. Goodale and Erdan did not meet at the Israel National Police Headquarters. They met in the Russian Compound District Headquarters. Doesn’t look like you check facts before making accusations.

    1. Hey Anonymous, thanks for pointing out the error in my post. It appears I relied on the facts in a Jerusalem Post article. JP is normally pretty good, I think.

  6. Dear Peter,

    Glad you are following our work closely and recommending our public diplomacy platforms to your readers. We do put a lot of effort into our Facebook and Twitter pages in English and French (with select posts in Hebrew and Arabic as well).

    Our FB page did link to a Jerusalem Post article of 01 August 2017 that highlighted the bilateral meeting between the Honourable Ralph Goodale and Minister Gilad Erdan. However, that article incorrectly stated that the meeting took place at the Israel National Police headquarters, when the actual meeting took place in the INP’s Russian Compound facility in West Jerusalem.

    The Embassy is responsive to our FB and Twitter readership and their comments. Don’t hesitate to contact us in the future if you believe our work is in contradiction with Canadian policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

    http://www.international.gc.ca/name-anmo/peace_process-processus_paix/canadian_policy-politique_canadienne.aspx?lang=eng

    Thank you,

    Anthony Hinton
    Chargé d’affaires a.i.
    Embassy of Canada to the State of Israel

    PS: I hope the above comment left earlier today was not from one of my colleagues here.

    1. Thank you Mr. Hinton for your comment on my article. I don’t have many resources and do sometimes make mistakes. Please feel free to offer any corrections (privately or publicly).

      Thank you too, for your invitation to make comment on your FB page as appropriate. I will do so.
      Best wishes.

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