The greatest issue of the day facing Canadians is security and the war against Radical Islam. It is hoped that the newly elected leader will continue defending Israel for the sake of his own country.
Supporters of Israel are saddened by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s loss in the national election on October 19. During Harper’s nine years of leadership, Canada has become known as the best friend of the Jewish state, and rightly so.
In focusing on Harper’s staunch defense of Israel and his valiant fight against anti-Semitism, however, many fail to understand the true implications of the election results, in which the Liberal Party of Canada, led by Justin Trudeau, achieved a sweeping victory. On a practical level, despite the appreciation of Israelis for the Canadian government’s heart-warming friendship, it is Canadians – not Israelis – who will be most affected. Many seem to forget that obvious point.
Those who repeatedly urged Jewish constituents before the election to vote for Harper based on his friendship to Israel were wrong. To tell Canadians to vote for a national leader based on his policies vis-à-vis another country – in this case, Israel – feeds into anti-Semitic accusations of dual loyalty. A vote in a Canadian election must be based on what the voter believes is best for Canada. Period.
The fact is that Harper’s support for Israel and the Jewish people was good – and vitally important – for Canada. Israel is fighting not only for its existence, but also in defense of the free world and Western values. Harper’s insistence, for example, on screening those claiming refugee status from countries such as Syria is an act of responsibility and concern for the safety of Canadians.
In May, the Canadian government passed bill C-24, which allows the revoking of dual citizenship of convicted terrorists from other countries. Trudeau’s election platform included the pledge to cancel that section of the bill.
Only a day after winning the election, Trudeau announced that he will withdraw fighter jets from the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State (ISIS).
The greatest issue of the day facing Canadians is security and the war against Radical Islam. As a Canadian Israeli, I wish Trudeau success and hope that the fears of those concerned by his victory will prove unfounded.