“We will continue to wage an all-out war against anti-Semitism and the boycott movement,” Ambassador Lyons vowed at the Knesset.

By: United with Israel Staff

The Knesset’s Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee held a special meeting on Tuesday honoring the contributions that Jewish Canadians have made to their country.

The Canadian Parliament recently passed legislation proclaiming May as Canadian Jewish Heritage Month.

During the meeting, Canadian Ambassador to Israel Deborah Lyons stressed her country’s traditional support for Israel and the contribution that the Jewish community there has made to Canada in many areas, including culture, commerce, academia and law.

She also highlighted the deep connection between the Israeli and Canadian cultures and the cooperation between the two countries in international organizations.

“Last year we celebrated 150 years since the founding of Canada, but the truth is that many Jews arrived in the country 100 years earlier, as early as 1760,” Lyons said.

The Jewish community in Canada is the fourth-largest in the world, with a population of 390,000, constituting 1.1 percent of the general population. Most of the Jews reside in Toronto and Montreal.

“We will continue to wage an all-out war against anti-Semitism and the boycott movement,” Lyons vowed, “and we will continue to commemorate the Holocaust, with the oath ‘Never Again.’ Canada’s Jews will continue to be protected and safe, like all other citizens.”

Canada – A True Friend

Member of Knesset Anat Berko, who initiated the meeting as co-chairwoman of the Israel-Canada Parliamentary Friendship Group, lauded the “Zionist passion which exists in the [Canadian] Jewish community – with the support of the government and parliament.”

”You are our true friends, and this friendship is present in every international forum and in joint ventures around the world,” Berko stated.

She also called on Canada to join Israel’s efforts to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

“Israel and Canada share many common characteristics, as countries with multicultural immigration that embrace values of peace, liberty and human rights,” said Committee Chairman MK Avraham Neguise.

“Current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has declared that Israel is an ally and a true friend of Canada, and he speaks out against anti-Semitism and the boycott movement and in favor of anti-boycott legislation, which was supported by both the ruling party and the opposition,” he noted.

The Canadian Parliament overwhelmingly supported a historic motion in February 2016 that formally condemned BDS in a vote of 229 to 51.

The motion states that, given that “Canada and Israel share a long history of friendship as well as economic and diplomatic relations, the House rejects the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which promotes the demonization and delegitimization of the State of Israel, and calls upon the government to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad.”

Trudeau also sent a videotaped message to the opening ceremony of the Maccabiah, in which he said that this year marks 50 years since the unification of Jerusalem. It was “a very unique statement for a Canadian prime minister,” Neguise pointed out.

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