Home News Canada Trudeau reaches out to CIJA to affirm support for Israel

Trudeau reaches out to CIJA to affirm support for Israel

Justin Trudeau meets with Jewish leaders at Shaare Zion
Justin Trudeau meets with Jewish leaders at Shaare Zion

Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau reached out to the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) to reaffirm his support for Israel and his willingness to discuss broader social issues.

In a 10-minute phone call Nov. 2, before being officially sworn in Nov. 4, that CIJA chair David Cape described as “very warm and very friendly,” Trudeau expressed his commitment to continue his strong relationship with CIJA.

“He reaffirmed his expectation for the government to work closely with the Jewish community and thanked us for all the work we had done,” Cape said.

Trudeau also expressed that “his government would continue the tradition of multipartisan support for Israel,” Cape said. “But he said he specifically was hoping we could work together on a broader range of issues.”

One issue of particular interest to CIJA is Bill C-51, the anti-terrorism act, which Trudeau had supported when it was introduced by the previous Conservative government. During the election campaign, Trudeau said he intended to amend the bill.

In a presentation to Parliament last spring, CIJA affirmed its support for the bill and suggested ways that oversight of Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Canada’s spy agency, should be improved and strengthened.

Cape said he reiterated this point to Trudeau Nov. 2.

CIJA is also deeply interested in participating in the national discussion on physician-assisted dying, and Cape said he discussed that with Trudeau as well.

The issue is sure to be debated in the House of Commons soon, after a Supreme Court decision last February gave the government one year to implement new legislation.

CIJA recently emailed members of the community asking for opinions on the issue and heard “passionately expressed thoughts,” on the subject, Cape said.

“I said it would be important for us to engage on a number of these social issues and I was hopeful that the Jewish community could be a springboard for his government to create broader support across the populations for this type of social issue,” Cape said.

The current wave of terrorism in Israel was not discussed, but Trudeau “expressed the hope there would be peace ultimately in the region,” Cape said.

Cape said he concluded the conversation by introducing Trudeau to the Hebrew word tikvah, meaning hope, a theme that Trudeau repeatedly referred to during his campaign, and one that has great resonance for the Jewish community as well, Cape said.

While there had been some concerns expressed during the campaign about whether Trudeau would be as supportive of the Jewish community as former prime minister Stephen Harper had been, Cape said that that is not the case.

“I got every sense that there was complete willingness from the prime minister-designate to have that dialogue and to work as closely with our community as had been in the past.”

  • Bonnie Geller

    Sure, sure. A judenrein backroom group except for the stereotype money man. A judenrein cabinet. He already has promised the left wing activists he is going to recognize Palestine and his sympathies for BDS are well known, but obviously not, with the”official” Jewish leadership which backs him and who will suddenly find themselves in the same situation as the Jewish American Democrats faced with a vitriolic racist leader.

    • gisabun

      It is his brother who supports BDS. The new PM supports the two state solution. I think most Jews do – if the agreement secures peace, etc. You can’t have a Jew in a cabinet if they aren’t elected and qualified. so how many Liberal Jews are there?
      You seem to be drinking a lot of the right wing Kool-Aid. So you are calling a black, a racist? Maybe not a first but close to one.

      • Matt Rosenberg

        It’s not a “Judenrein” Cabinet – Jim Carr is the Minister of Natural Resources and a high profile Jewish community figure and business leader in Winnipeg.

        There are 6 Jewish MPs in this Parliament, all Liberals. 1 Cabinet minister = their share of the Liberal caucus, so it’s ridiculous to claim that Jews were “excluded.”

        Note that Harper’s Conservatives had 0 Jewish MPs until 2011 and thus had no Jews in his Cabinet for five years. Who cares? Joe Oliver was later in Cabinet and few would have argued that Mark Adler was Cabinet material.

        • gisabun

          Considering Jews make up less than 1% of the population, “we” have 3% of the cabinet. Adler probably wasn’t after he tried to get a picture with him and Harper at the Wailing Wall and Harper said no.

        • Canada First

          At no time in history were there more than six Jewish MPs. This is a time to rejoice but the Conservative base posting on CJNews treat this as a tragedy since none are Conservative MPs.

    • Not that I’m tickled with the new government, to put it mildly, but calling the cabinet Judenrein is a bit gratuitous, kind of over the top, Ms Geller. With all due respect, of course. What’s more, given the political leanings of so many in the self-proclaimed Jewish leadership out there, you may look at the situation as a blessing.

    • Joe Q.

      The new Minister of Natural Resources (Jim Carr of Winnipeg) is a Jew.

  • Warren Shapiro

    How can we believe this guy. I wonder how much it has cost to try to erase all record of the Jenin garbage his brother produced. I really would have felt better if there was a jewish person posted to cabinet but even with 6 choices and 3 of those being fairly strong – nada.
    I do not trust this government as a real freind to the Jews. I also worry that this government underestimates what threats really are and has weak experience understanding foreign affairs.

    • gisabun

      So you think that just because of his brother, our new PM has the same views? I don’t have the same views as my brother. He’s leans a bit to the right while I lean towards the left [but I have previously voted Conservative].
      You don’t trust someone who’d only held the office [at this time] for just under 6 hours? Foreign Affairs is handled by Stephane Dion [in St-Laurent – still many Jews there].

    • Matt Rosenberg

      Jim Carr is Jewish and is the Minister of Natural Resources.

  • The current wave of terrorism in Israel was not discussed, but Trudeau “expressed the hope there would be peace ultimately in the region,” Cape said.

    Yes, of course, no time for minor details. And let us also express hope for peace in the world and love of harp seals. So, the Prime Minister confuses CIJA with the leadership of the Jewish community and together they fail to notice Jews getting hacked in Israel on daily basis, while the hallowed “international community” scolds Israel for bedroom renovations in Yudah and Shomron. Ooh yeah, happy times are here again!

  • Oliver Puma

    “Trudeau also expressed that “his government would continue the tradition of multipartisan support for Israel,” Cape said. “But he said he specifically was hoping we could work together on a broader range of issues.””……. fundraising, for example?

  • sunni ways

    Trudeau appointed Stephane Dion as foreign affairs minister.

    “nuff said.

    We support Israel but….

    • Worse, he’s now “Global” Affairs minister.

  • Joe Q.

    Similar stories for most of the previous Cabinet, including John Baird, Pierre Poilievre, Jason Kenney, and Harper himself, none of whom had ever had jobs outside of politics or lobbying.

  • sunni ways

    Moving multiculturalism from Immigration over to his family friend and shameless self promoter Melanie Joly at Heritage Canada means that Justin wants to give multiculturalism a higher profile and that he wants to indirectly maintain control of this file.

    Somehow I think that the multi cult that he will be promoting is not dreidel spinning and Ukranian folk dance.

  • Canada First

    Stephen Harper’s only work outside of politics was sorting mail in the mailroom of Imperial Oil. That job lasted less than a year.

  • Canada First

    The election is over and your side lost yet you continue with the failed and vitriolic Harper campaign strategy of linking Muslims with Liberals. Conservatives have a tendency to repeat past strategies even when those strategies become counterproductive.

    An anti-Semite could point out that there are more Jewish Liberal MPs than at anytime in Canadian history and cite this as evidence that the Liberals are anti-Muslim. I have even seen pictures of Dion with Jews. Yet this is exactly the type of “logic” you are using when you describe a Muslim person as being Dion’s “buddy”.

    And of course western St Laurent did not vote overwhelmingly against the Liberals.

  • gisabun

    Errr. The choice would depend on if and how many of each were elected and whether or not the had the qualifications. Calling Trudeau a racist?

  • gisabun

    Where did you get that polling information from? Link? As if politicians [at least during election campaigns] don’t have pictures taken with other religious leaders.

  • mike schwarzer

    By the way I like jews, I just hate everything that has followed Rabin.

    Rabin’s daughter Dalia explains it best. She’s come to see the two decades since her father’s murder as the story of a power shift from the likes of Rabin—secular, pragmatic, moderate—to those of settler advocates: ethnically chauvinistic, uncompromising, often messianic, she tells Ephron. In Israel, “instead of pining for peace,” he writes, “they’re now asking: Who needs it?”

    • sunni ways

      “By the way I like jews,…”


    • The person who foolishly brought the PLO and its arch-terrorist back to Israel, helped arm them, committed Israel to a process the Arabs were never going to honour, as they even said so at the time… and is indirectly responsible for thousands of deaths and incalculable misery on both sides, has become the legendary martyr-hero to some just because he was assassinated by a lunatic.

      Get over it; there never was anyone to make peace with, there isn’t now and everything points to the certainty that there never will be until Israel decisively defeats and disarms the terrorist entity that calls itself “Palestinians.”