When Israelis have faced serious diplomatic and security challenges in recent years, the Government of Canada has extended remarkably clear, unequivocal support for the people of Israel and the state of Israel. In general, this has received strong cross-party backing on Parliament Hill, demonstrating that this support transcends party lines and is rooted in the democratic values Canadians and Israelis share. The Canadian Jewish community can be proud of the fact that Canada is widely considered to be one of Israel’s strongest and most reliable friends in the world.
CIJA has been at the forefront of strengthening support for and understanding of the role of Israel in the Jewish religion among parliamentarians across the political spectrum. This has included annual fact-finding missions to Israel for parliamentarians and political staff, a parliamentary internship program for Canadian Jewish graduates, hosting and participating in annual events on Parliament Hill, and maintaining a full-time Government Relations team in Ottawa to build and sustain relationships with members of all parties.
Canadian cross-party support for the people of Israel and the state of Israel is at an all-time high – a reality that, given the shifting and complex regional situation, should not be understated. The challenge for the Jewish community in the near future will be not only to maintain this positive momentum but also to translate it into wider areas of Canada-Israel cooperation. CIJA will continue to build understanding in the political realm while working to enable Canadians in other spheres – including business, academia, and civil society – to appreciate Israel’s central role in Judaism and as a source of solutions to common issues and a country that shares our values.