Canadian Zionist Group Says New FM Dion’s Pledge to Become ‘Honest Broker’ With Israel is Concerning
The Canadian chapter of Christians United for Israel, one of the world’s largest pro-Israel groups, expressed concern over just sworn-in Canadian Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion’s promise to have Canada become an “honest broker” with Israel.
“As a candidate to become Prime Minister, [Justin] Trudeau had promised to maintain the substance of Canada’s exemplary relationship with Israel, modifying only the tone,” the group said in a statement released on Friday. “However, just sworn-in Stephan Dion promises his ministry at Foreign Afffairs will return to the role of ‘honest broker’ vis a vis Israel.”
“Israel already has many ‘honest brokers’ among the Europeans. What Israel, a democracy surrounded by terrorist states and dictatorships needs is friends it can count on,” the group said.
“Canada needs to maintain the moral clarity to differentiate between sister democracies and violent, terrorist states if it is to strengthen and help its many strong friends and allies among whom Israel has always been counted,” CUFI Canada said.
The group was responding to comments by Dion criticizing the way former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper had conducted Israel policy. Dion said Harper made Israel a partisan issue and damaged the strength of Canada’s relationship with Israel, according to iPolitics.
Dion called for strengthening Canada’s relationship with other regional partners as well, mentioning Lebanon specifically, according to the report.
Indeed, Harper enjoyed a close relationship with Israel, becoming the first Canadian premier to speak at the Knesset, in 2014 during his visit to the region. Harper was also outspoken in his support for Israel and condemnation for Hamas and its war tactics during Operation Protective Edge that year.