Canadian Politics

What’s behind the Trudeau government’s new phrasing that Canada is “a friend of Israel” and “a friend of the Palestinian people”?

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In diplomacy, words matter. After saying for years that Canada was an “ally” of Israel, that terminology was quietly dropped last month. We now say Canada is a “friend of Israel, and a friend to the Palestinian people”. That sounds balanced. CTIP’s research department has discovered some of the ways Canada puts that apparently “balanced” statement into practice. Read more…

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Has Canada “downgraded” its relation to Israel, or just wordsmithed it? Open letter to Hon. Chrystia Freeland: What does it mean to say Canada is an “ally” of Israel?

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International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland answers a question during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa, on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Until very recently, Canada’s foreign affairs minister Hon. Chrystia Freeland repeatedly stated that “Canada is a steadfast ally and friend of Israel, and a friend to the Palestinian people”. Two months ago, CTIP wrote the minister asking for clarification on what she meant, exactly, to say that Israel is an “ally” of Canada. We never got an answer, or even an acknowledgement. But as Palestinian casualties began mounting in Gaza, the official wording was quietly changed. No more reference to Israel being an “ally”. Just a “friend”. Did CTIP’s letter prompt this change? Or was it Israel’s behaviour in Gaza? We will never know. But, here is our letter….. (more…)

Is Trudeau already looking for “wiggle room” on his call for Gaza inquiry? It looks like it.

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Only a few days ago, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was aggressively calling for an independent investigation into the killing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Then CIJA began a serious lobbying effort. And he got a call from Mr. Netanyahu. Trudeau is caught like a deer in the headlights. But perhaps Mr. Netanyahu has found him a way out…. Read more…

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Trudeau now at centre of intense debate over Israel’s shooting of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators

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For weeks, Prime Minister Trudeau maintained silence on the rising number of deaths of unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza despite increasing calls for him to say something. On May 16, he finally spoke out calling for an independent investigation. Immediately, he was attacked by the Israel lobby which wants to avoid an investigation and instead just blame Hamas.  It’s now a political tug of war. Read more. (more…)