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Tories show support for moving Canadian embassy to Jerusalem

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer

After choosing to be “very deliberate and cautious,” following U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and his promise to move the country’s embassy there, Canadian Conservatives seem ready to speak definitively on the issue.

Earlier this month at the Manning Networking Conference in Ottawa, Alberta United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney and Conservative MP Erin O’Toole addressed the ongoing controversy that erupted last December, following Trump’s announcement.

“I can’t even understand why this is a debate. Not only is Jerusalem obviously and objectively the capital of the State of Israel since its creation, but it is the ancient capital of the Jewish people,” Kenney said.


O’Toole – who chose to be “cautious” and not “rush into any response” in December – said at the conference that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital shouldn’t negate support for a two-state solution.

“Some countries have consular presence in east and west Jerusalem, so I think that’s where Canada needs to go and the whole question of the embassy is something we should watch and see how the Americans proceed,” O’Toole added.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer told The CJN that he’s proud to lead a party that has always stood with Israel and recognized it as one of Canada’s strongest allies.

Alberta UCP Leader Jason Kenney (FAQMP Ichannel/flickr/CC-BY-2.0)

“I don’t think this is about what other politicians are saying, I think it’s about recognizing the obvious fact that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel,” Scheer said. “Israel has the right to determine where its capital is.”

Referring back to the statement from Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland in the days that followed Trump’s declaration, Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Adam Austen said the government’s position is that “the status of Jerusalem can be resolved only as part of a general settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute.”

Scheer added that consideration should be given to the fact that Jerusalem is home to the Knesset and the Supreme Court.

Conservative MP Erin O’Toole (Manning Centre/CC-BY-2.0)

“I don’t think there has been a serious peace proposal that would ignore that fact,” he said.

When it comes to Trump’s promise to move the American embassy to Jerusalem, and whether Canada would follow suit under a Conservative government, Scheer said he would “absolutely want to work with the government of Israel on the best way to move forward on that. In the meantime, there are steps that we can take. Many of our allies have a consular presence in Jerusalem. Canada does not. That is something we can progress as we move forward.”

Requests for comment from NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May were not immediately returned.

  • Jeff

    the real question from the Tories is why they didn’t do it when they were in power

    • Michael Mann

      …and why even the Conservatives considered Jewish residency in the territories illegal. Still, having been utterly abandoned by Liberals seeking support from a Muslim voting demographic, Jews should be re-examining their traditional support for the Liberal Party of Canada.

      • Jeff

        why the Liberals always support Israel…but you are talking blind support

        • Michael Mann

          No, principled support, as was offered by Stephen Harper. He took risks. Risk is something Liberals are too calculating to consider.

        • Michael Mann

          No, principled support but Justin Trudeau has none. He’s prepared to sacrifice our civil rights in order to secure a dozen safe Islamist ridings.

          • Jeff

            how do you figure that, sounds like Trump and Netanyahu are more your style

          • Michael Mann

            There is no logic in your statement.

          • Jeff

            your illogical hatred of Liberals

          • Michael Mann

            Just to add confusion to your simplistic mind, I support Netanyahu’s policies but not Trump’s. Is the world too challenging for you?

            As for Trudeau, he is an opportunist who does not think. He responds to ideology. He is dangerous. That’s a logical reason to oppose his policies.

  • Helen200k

    Jason Kenney was a Stephen Harper cabinet minister for almost a decade. Stephen Harper, B’nai Brith and JNF constantly told us, was Israel’s best friend ever. Yet the Harper Conservatives never mentioned moving the Canadian embassy to Jerusalem. The Trudeau policy on Jerusalem is exactly the same as the Harper policy.