Canada’s Actions Towards Israel: A Detailed Overview

The Canadian government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has decided to halt future arms exports to Israel. This decision was influenced by a motion proposed by the New Democratic Party (NDP), led by Jagmeet Singh.

With a 204-117 vote in favor, the motion was approved in Canada’s House of Commons. The motion indicates that Canada will “stop further authorization and transfer of arms exports to Israel to ensure adherence with Canada’s arms export regulations and intensify efforts to curb illegal arms trade, including to Hamas.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly verified that this motion is now in effect, marking a significant shift from Canada’s previous position.

In his statement, Singh clarified that their primary objective was to stop selling arms to Israel, a stance never before adopted by Canada. This decision was made considering the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza and apprehensions about the planned military offensive in Rafah.

Most of the arms exported from Canada to Israel are for military equipment that is modified in Israel and then sent back to Canada for their military use or use by Canadian military allies. Hence, it is anticipated that the ban might not impact these returns.

This move is viewed as a substantial step Canada took towards addressing this issue and showing their concern over the ongoing conflict. However, it should be noted that Canada will continue benefiting from Israeli expertise in this field.

Following the vote, Trudeau communicated his concerns about the situation in Gaza and the planned military offensive in Rafah to Benny Gantz, a leader in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet.

The Prime Minister’s office issued a statement saying that the decision was made considering the humanitarian crisis and the need to ensure compliance with Canada’s arms export regulations. However, it was also clarified that Canada acknowledges Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism.

Iddo Moed, Israeli Ambassador to Canada, expressed that stopping arms transfers to Israel would weaken their defense against Hamas. He suggested that the motion was primarily aimed at increasing pressure on Israel rather than addressing root issues like hostage release and Hamas disarming. Moed emphasized that these two factors are crucial for achieving regional peace and stability.

Canadian officials stated that they made this decision after evaluating the risks associated with arms exports to Israel. They argued there was a significant risk of these arms being used for purposes other than intended. This also raises concerns about the potential misuse of arms by Hamas militants, a group recognized as a terrorist organization by Canada.

The original resolution also called for Canada to recognize the “State of Palestine,” but it was revised to support the “establishment of the State of Palestine as part of a negotiated two-state solution,” according to The Toronto Star.

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