During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a significant number of Jewish people sought refuge from persecution in Europe by immigrating to Canada. They found safety, security, and new opportunities in this country, free from the troubles they had experienced in Europe. For many years, Jewish immigrants have considered Canada a land of opportunity and safety. Some even colloquially referred to the storage facilities at Auschwitz as “Kanada” due to their perception of it being a relatively safer place to work within the Concentration Camp. For approximately 130 years, Jewish immigrants have been coming to Canada, a nation where they can thrive with freedom, safety, and the assurance of government protection, in stark contrast to their experiences in Europe. Canada, once a great nation known for its victorious history and its commitment to peace and a high quality of life, has unfortunately become a source of disappointment for the Jewish community and the global community at large.
On May 11, 1949, Canada formally recognized Israel as an independent nation. Since then, Canada has maintained a diplomatic presence in Israel, and in return, Israel has established embassies in Ottawa, along with regional consulates in Toronto and Montreal. The Canada-Israel relationship has matured into a robust and multifaceted partnership, grounded in shared values, mutual interests, and a joint commitment to fostering peace and stability in the Middle East and beyond. Both nations are dedicated to upholding a democratic government, human rights, the rule of law, and place great importance on freedom of expression, religious diversity, and inclusivity. These common principles serve as the solid foundation for a strong and enduring friendship.
In recent days, Israel has been embroiled in a conflict with Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization. Every year, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Canadian leaders solemnly declare “Never Again,” vowing to prevent the Jewish people from experiencing another genocide, similar to what occurred roughly eight decades ago. Unfortunately, it appears this commitment has been put to the test due to the ongoing conflict. It is disheartening to observe the limited support offered to our Israeli allies who are currently grappling with a volatile situation. Thousands of innocent men, women, and children have tragically lost their lives in an escalating conflict.
In recent weeks, Canada has experienced a series of embarrassing incidents that have left its Jewish population questioning the extent of support for both the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Notably, a few weeks ago, Canadians from all racial and cultural backgrounds witnessed a standing ovation in the House of Commons for a former Nazi, which raised concerns. Subsequently, Canada made a hasty accusation against Israel of “striking” the Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza, resulting in the tragic loss of roughly 500 civilian lives according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. This stance of the Liberal party, which often criticizes its opponents for spreading misinformation, was perceived as inconsistent with their earlier statement expressing support for Israel’s actions in the fight against terrorism. Prime Minister Trudeau stated, “the news coming out of Gaza is horrific and absolutely unacceptable,” but then went on to place blame on Israel for the incident.
Last Wednesday, less than a day after the explosion, the facts became clear, and it became apparent that Israel was not responsible for the hospital blast and it was caused by a malfunctioning rocket fired from within Gaza by Palestinian terrorists. As Western countries make their statements on who was responsible for the hospital blast, Canada has yet to make any statement of apologizing to their close ally for accusing them of a heinous war crime. When will Canada stop their two-faced standard? In addition to this, the question of the year still lingers. Will Canada, and other nations, uphold their solemn promise of “Never Again”? Or will we stand by while the Jewish people in Israel endure daily threats to their lives?