Relationship matters

Canada-Israel relations: what is there to know?

Canada and Israel have always had a special relationship, the two countries sharing diplomatic, commercial, and cultural ties. What mainly characterizes this connection is continuity. When did the friendship begin, anyway? For those of you who don’t know, Canada and Israel have been on good terms even before Israel declared statehood. In 1947, Canada was part of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine. Canadians supported the UN partition resolution 181, which led to the creation of the State of Israel. What is more, they were one of the first ones to recognize the “Jewish State”. The 1940s represented a time at which a decisive change occurred in the attitude towards Jewish problems.

Over the years, Canada has done nothing but support Israel. One of those significant moments was when the United Nations urged Israeli armed forces to withdraw from Palestine territories. Leaders kept on calling on Israel so as to withdraw their army, severely criticizing the government, while Canada opposed the UN resolutions. It’s important not to forget about the Israeli-Lebanon conflict when the relationships weakened. The Canadians simply refused to believe that the military activities were justified. That and the decreased influence of Canada in the Middle East contributed to the cooling of the relationships. Things started going great again when Stephen Harper became prime minister. What is certain is that, during that time, Canada proved to be the most reliable ally.

Have the relations changed in recent time?

At present, there are approximately 400,000 Jews in Canada. The matter of the fact is that Canada has been home to Jewish people since the dawn of time. They have been present in the territory for hundreds of years. Life isn’t hard for Jewish immigrants. Canadian Jews have managed to advance in society, enjoying wealth and prosperity. The generations of immigrants have understood that success is only possible when you work hard and you’re perseverant. The immigrants established large communities, which in turn developed into even larger communities. Many say that the number of Jews in Canada exceeds the one in Israel and the United States.

The question now is: Is Canada as committed as ever to Israel? You can certainly put it that way. Justin Trudeau, the current prime minister, continues the pro-Israeli policy introduced by the Harper government. Canada affirmed that they will not follow the example of the United States, whose intentions are to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but they have not been too convincing. Justin Trudeau insists on supporting Israel, being consistent with his opposition to the Boycott, Divertissement and Sanctions movement. Concerning the Canadian embassy, Trudeau stated that it will remain in Tel Aviv. There is no current interest in moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

There have many voices questioning the nature of the relationships between Canada and Israel. Should they be friends in the first place? This is not something that we can answer. It is up to the two countries to decide what is right and what is not.

Relationship matters

Historical events that changed the international relations between Israel and Canada

Because the Jews were pressured to migrate in different parts of the world because of the unfortunate situations they have been through, maintaining good international relations was and still is to this day an absolute must. Leading a prosperous life without conflicts involves successfully managing harsh situations. There are many historical events that somehow influenced the path of Jews throughout the passage of time. The relations between Canada and Israel are worth mentioning because of their longevity and stability.

Because Canada accepted the State of Israel and eventually collaborated with the Jews and allowed the evolution of a community on their territory, the Israeli-Canadian journey was beneficial for both sides. Considering this, many Jews emigrated to Canada and settled there in different migration waves. Another reason why Jews chose to emigrate in different parts of the world would be the Arab-Israeli conflict, influencing the Canadian emigrations around the 1990s. Here are some historical events that had an impact on the Israeli-Canadian relation:


UNSCOP translated as the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine plays a great role in the actual creation of the Jewish community in Canada. UNSCOP was formed of eleven different nations (Australia, Netherlands, Canada, Peru, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Guatemala, Uruguay, India, Yugoslavia, and Iran). Because Canada was part of UNSCOP at the time when the State of Israel finally decided to declare its independence, it was easy to create a good relationship between Canada and Israel. The reason behind this is the goal of UNSCOP to separate Palestine in two different states. That is the moment when Israel became independent and gained the favoring vote of Canada and the relations between the two states became visible.

The Suez Crisis

Canada had a noticeable importance in combating Arab nationalism. During the Suez Crisis in 1956, Canada played the role of a peace-maker. De-tensioning the situation between Egypt, the United States, and Great Britain was the main preoccupation of Canada. The confrontation included both military and political means. Lester Pearson addressed the issues in the committee and later won the Nobel Prize for maintaining the peace. Through this decision, Canada avoided a conflict between the French and the Israeli troops. The First United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF I) also had an impact on the withdrawal of this conflict.

The Israeli-PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) War

This was one of the most controversial historical events taking place in Israel, which is the reason why it has such a big impact on the state’s international relations. The PLO was an organization that had one purpose – liberating Palestine through violence. The Israeli civilians were in danger and a war started. There were discussions between the Israeli and Canadian prime ministers, trying to assess the situation that was currently happening in Lebanon. The tensioned political atmosphere led to backlashes, but Canada abstained from the vote in times of need. The international relations between Canada and Israel met some obstacles in their journey at that moment. After the conflict ended, Canada and Israel resumed their activities and continued to collaborate.

Jews in Canada

Jewish Canadians – history, international relations, community

The Jewish history is complex and includes many theories and presumptions. As people may know, the Jews went through historical events that pushed them to dissipate all over the world. More than that, Jews come from a mixture of ascents that is difficult to track back in time. After many revolts that proved to be unsuccessful, the Jews established in different homelands, all around the globe. One of the locations they chose is Canada. Usually, the immigrants in Canada come from culturally major groups. This was not the case for Jews. They chose Canada as a homeland out of necessity. Jewish people lived in diverse parts of the Middle East, Europe, and even Africa. The Jewish communities in Canada are now prosperous and both Israel and Canada are tied diplomatically, commercially and culturally. This is a short presentation of the tumultuous history of the Jewish Canadians.

The beginning

Jews were pressured to mass-migrate. This is the reason why their traces can be found in different parts of the world. Communities were settled in various countries and they managed to start their lives from scratch. The story of the Jewish Canadians started in the 18thcentury when the British Empire set up limitations for Jews. Eventually, Jewish people managed to settle in different parts of southern Canada and in Québec. As they developed their relationship with the Canadian Government, Jews started to spread towards Northern Canada as well. They started to built synagogues, the first one being built in the late 19th century (the Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto). Jews joined the Canadian Confederation and the community was finally established. Montréal and Toronto were the hosts of almost three-quarters of the whole Canadian-Jewish community. Jews worked in industries such as retail and wholesale, working their way up to successful businesses. Jewish merchants did meet success, especially in communities that were settled in prosperous locations such as Canada.

International relations

The diplomatic relations between Israel and Canada are dynamic, as they are always active and continuously improving. The longevity of the Israeli-Canadian relation is one of the numerous proofs that diplomacy is involved in the relations. After Israel finally declared its independence, Canada recognized it as a state. Of course, there were also some moments when the international relations between the two countries were tensioned and controversial. Assassination attempts were the main causes of these misunderstandings. Even though these moments took place, the Israeli-Canadian relation remained friendly and open.


The Jewish Canadian community nowadays is just as prosperous as in the beginning. The growing number of Jewish Canadians is promising. The community created a Canada-Israel Committee that allows discussing urgent problems of Israel in Canada or vice-versa. Also, Canadians appreciate the huge cultural contributions that Jewish people had during the passage of time. Canada is happy to be the host of a multicultural environment, where everyone can contribute to the well-being of the community. Ethnic diversity is the stepping stone that sustains the Israeli-Canadian relation.