Montreal, QC – August 3, 2023 – The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and Federation CJA commend Quebec’s Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie Martine Biron for the creation of a Quebec Government Bureau in Israel. Following years of discussions, a recent Order in Council formalized the Bureau’s creation.
CIJA has encouraged successive Quebec governments to open a formal diplomatic mission in Israel for several years. The Quebec-Israel relationship has grown remarkably since its beginnings in the days of René Lévesque, who noted the similarities between the two people’s struggles for self-determination. More recently, representatives of the Quebec government have made official visits to Israel.
The two states are parties to numerous agreements that address issues of research and development, economic innovation, and support for French-language institutions in Israel. Through its consulate in Montreal, Israel has had an official presence in Quebec for over half a century.
In response to the government’s announcement, Eta Yudin, CIJA’s Vice President, Quebec, released the following comment:
“CIJA is pleased to have worked with partners in the government over the last few years to help realize the establishment of this important Bureau. We commend Quebec for taking this significant step and expanding its international presence.
“We congratulate Minister Biron for expanding Quebec’s international presence to Israel. The establishment of a Bureau in the Jewish state reflects the depth and extent of the Quebec-Israel relationship.
“Quebec and Israel both have much to gain through the opening of this mission. As Quebec’s first mission in the Middle East, the selection of Israel is a testament to the Abraham Accords’ success in ushering in a new regional trade and economic reality. We are confident the Bureau, as a valuable resource for partnerships, will bolster existing links and generate significant opportunities for international collaboration.
“As a strong international francophone voice, Quebec will bolster the vitality of the French-speaking world by building ties between Quebec and Israel’s francophone community.”
Yair Szlak, President and CEO, Federation CJA, added:
“Montreal’s Jewish community applauds the Government for taking this important step. The history of Quebec’s Jewish community goes back centuries. While the Bureau’s opening is a testament to the bond between Quebec and Israel, this development is particularly meaningful for our community and an occasion to celebrate. We look forward to seeing the Bureau engage in important work for the benefit of all.”
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