Israeli FM slams Trudeau for halting arms sales to Israel

Canadian arms exports to Israel amounted to over $15.4 million in 2022.

By David Isaac, JNS

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz on Tuesday expressed his displeasure with Canada’s government over its announcement on Monday that it would halt arms sales to Israel.

“It’s regrettable that the Canadian government is taking a step that undermines Israel’s right to self-defense against Hamas terrorists, who have committed terrible crimes against humanity and against innocent Israeli civilians, including the elderly, women, and children,” tweeted Katz.

“History will judge Canada’s current action harshly. Israel will continue to fight until Hamas is destroyed and all hostages are returned home,” he added.

Canadian arms exports to Israel amounted to more than $15.4 million in 2022, according to Canadian government data. (The largest non-U.S. export destination that year was Saudi Arabia, which received about $1.15 billion in military exports, or about 54% of the total value of all non-U.S. Canadian military exports.)

Canada’s decision followed a non-binding resolution passed by the House of Commons on Monday. The motion, passed 204-117, had initially called for the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state, a move critics said incentivized terrorism. A last-minute effort pulled that language.

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The final version urged Canada to “actively pursue” the establishment of a Palestinian state as part of a two-state solution.

It also referenced Hamas as a terror group and demanded that it surrender.

However, Canadian Jewish groups were not mollified by the changes.

Shimon Koffler Fogel, president and CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), said in a statement on Monday that the failure of the NDP (New Democratic Party) to push through its extremist position was of “little comfort.”

“We are angered and deeply disappointed that the Liberal government has chosen to effectively sub-contract Canadian foreign policy to anti-Israel radicals within the NDP and the Bloc Québécois,” she said.

“By supporting today’s amended motion, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is demonstrating a failure of moral leadership that will result in Canada being perceived as an unreliable partner on the world stage—one that bends to the whims of political fringes,” she stated.

Fogel said that not only does the motion “undermine longstanding Canadian foreign policy,” but it could have ramifications closer to home, pointing to Canada’s 93% rise in hate crime, the majority of which targets the nation’s Jews.

“It is very worrying that passage of this motion could be used to further embolden the antisemitic protests we have seen targeting the Jewish community under the guise of demonstrating against Israel,” she said.