Justin Trudeau Is No Friend of Israel
While 33 ambassadors and dignitaries participated in the recent celebration of the US embassy’s relocation from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, one country was noticeably absent. Though considered by many to be one of Israel’s strongest allies, Canada chose to boycott the dedication.
“We will not be moving Canada’s embassy to Jerusalem,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in response to President Trump’s decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital city. Palestinian diplomats welcomed the Trudeau government’s decision not to support the move.
While condemning what he called Israel’s “excessive use of force” in defending itself against violent riots organized by the terrorist group Hamas, Trudeau seemed to take issue with the fact that alleged murderer Tarek Loubani — a Palestinian-Canadian previously arrested in Egypt for his support of Islamic terrorism — was reportedly shot in the leg during the protest.
In stark contrast, Trudeau’s Conservative predecessor Stephen Harper lauded the decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. The Canadian Conservative Party has pledged to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital if they win the general election in 2019.
Trudeau’s snub came just days after announcing that he would offer an official apology for Canada’s turning away 907 German Jews fleeing for their lives on the MS St. Louis during the Holocaust. But despite this gesture, it is clear that Trudeau has yet to fully grasp the lesson behind the vow, “Never again!”
Aside from Canada’s unprecedented rise in Holocaust denial, Trudeau’s apology rings hollow after his official letter strongly supporting “Palestine Day,” which took place in Canada’s parliament building. Coinciding with “Land Day” (an annual event calling for the annihilation of Israel), this year’s event featured anti-Israel activists calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.
In response to US funding cuts to UNRWA — the UN agency specially designated for the descendants of Palestinian refugees, Canada announced that it would donate up to $25 million to make up for this deficit. This despite the UN agency’s documented history of inciting anti-Jewish violence and the use of UNRWA schools to store rockets and weapons belonging to Hamas.
Hamas has continuously called for the destruction of Israel and the creation of a Palestinian Islamic state in its place. The terror group’s original charter uses Islamic texts — and debunked anti-Jewish conspiracy theories — to call for the wholesale genocide of Jews in Israel and throughout the world.
Not content with merely using taxpayer dollars to finance the anti-Jewish bigotry of UNRWA and Hamas, the Trudeau government also funds anti-Israel incitement in Canada. In 2015, the federal government paid CAD $35,000 to an artist whose exhibits glorify Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. This individual has continuously justified terrorist attacks plotted by her brother, including the 1974 massacre of 22 Israeli schoolchildren and 4 adults.
But should this really come as a surprise to anyone, considering that Trudeau’s government has used the Canada Jobs Grant to fund an Islamic group with terror ties, as well as one with a history of anti-gay rhetoric?
If Trudeau truly wants to make amends for Canada’s behavior during the Holocaust, he can start by according Israel the same respect shown to any other sovereign nation and recognize Jerusalem as its declared capital city. Until Trudeau stops the proliferation of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel extremism under his watch, he can hardly be considered a friend of the Jewish state.
Bradley Martin is a Senior Fellow with the news and public policy group Haym Salomon Center and Deputy Editor for the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.