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Israel Fears ‘Domino Effect’ after Canada Arms Embargo

March 21, 2024

by: Itamar Eichner ~ Ynetnews

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The Canadian Jewish community helped prevent the worst-case scenario in Israel–Canada relations (illustrative).

Thursday, 21 March 2024 | On Monday, Canada’s parliament passed a motion 204 to 117 to end arms exports to Israel, demand an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and the release of hostages, and pursue “the establishment of the State of Palestine as part of a negotiated two-state solution.”

Israel fears other countries will follow suit, such as the Netherlands, which is delaying the delivery of parts for the F-35 fighter jet.

Israel does not purchase arms from Canada nor has Canada purchased Israeli weapons in the past decade, making this move purely symbolic. However, since the outbreak of the war, Canada has withheld the sale of 11 armored vehicles to Israel Police and prevented the shipment of night vision equipment to the Israel Defense Forces [IDF].

The problem with Canada’s decision is that it reflects Israel’s difficult situation and, above all, reveals how the world quickly forgot October 7 after standing with Israel. Sources familiar with Israeli–Canadian diplomatic relations say that “the writing was on the wall,” and the decision stemmed in part from the significant growth of the country’s Muslim population. The government, considered friendly to Jerusalem, relies on the center-left New Democratic Party [NDP].

“The problem with Israel’s status in Canada is primarily related to the demographic change in the country and the radicalization of the NDP,” said one of the officials. In addition, professional associations in Canada are leading a hardline anti-Israel campaign, putting pressure on left-wing figures in the ruling Liberal Party and the NDP.

The NDP initiated the anti-Israel proposal in parliament to recognize a Palestinian state. The original proposal introduced by NDP, MP Heather McPherson, was extremely biased against Israel and held Israel responsible for resolving the conflict, including the ongoing war, blatantly ignoring Hamas’s responsibility. McPherson also included a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state in the proposal without removing Hamas from power in Gaza.

Unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state traditionally contradicts Canadian foreign policy. Canadian prime ministers, both Liberals and Conservatives, have always supported the two-state solution through negotiations.

The Jewish community in Canada and the Israeli embassy immediately moved to thwart McPherson’s proposal. The Jewish community clarified that such a proposal is unacceptable. More than 30,000 Canadian Jews and their Canadian allies mobilized against the NDP proposal, sending 900,000 emails to parliament members and making thousands of phone calls to their offices. These efforts bore fruit.

At the request of the Israeli embassy, Minister Benny Gantz spoke to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asking him to prevent the passing of the original proposal, fearing that some members of the ruling party would allow the proposal to pass as is, which would be intolerable for Israel. However, the pressure exerted by the Jewish community on the Liberal government, along with Gantz’s pressure on Trudeau, prevented the worst-case scenario.

On Monday night, the Liberal Party reached a compromise with the NDP on a softened text, dropping a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state and replacing it with a call to “work with international partners to actively pursue the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including towards the establishment of a Palestinian state as part of a negotiated two-state solution.”

The decision also included another problematic clause for Israel: a call for a future arms embargo on Israel and condemnation of supposed extremist settlers in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria]. Although the proposal is non-binding, the Canadian foreign minister announced that Ottawa had decided to halt arms sales to Israel, which prompted condemnation from Jerusalem. Israel estimates the foreign minister’s statement was a compensation to the left for softening the motion.

The Canadian–Jewish community said that even the amended proposal is “problematic” and places heavy blame on Israel while focusing little on dismantling Hamas or curbing terror against Israel. The Jewish community called on its supporters to thank the 117 parliament members who voted against rewarding Hamas and changing Canada’s foreign policy for years to come.

Posted on March 21, 2024

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by Ynetnews on March 20, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Dietmar Rabich/

Photo License: Wikimedia