Israel's Ties with Canada are Strong



By: ORIT ALON, TRANSLATION ELAD BENARI  
Published: April 20th 2010
in News » Israel

Ambassador Miriam Ziv

Israel’s ambassador to Canada Miriam Ziv is congratulating the Israeli and Jewish community in honour of Yom Ha’atzmaut. She pointed out the long-standing friendship between Canada and Israel and said she is determined to do everything possible to deepen the interaction between Canada and Israel on issues shared by both countries.

 

Speaking to Shalom Life in a special interview for Israel’s Independence Day, Ziv said that the close ties between Israel and Canada have remained over the years, regardless of events or changes in government. She added that already during the UN’s decision of November 29, 1947, Canada played an important role in standing behind Israel by voting for the Partition Plan and ever since then, its position has been clear. Ziv said that the Canadian government regrets the dark period of World War II when the MS St. Louis refugee boat was not allowed into Canada, and is taking actions to remember the Holocaust. A Yom Hashoah ceremony took place this week in Ottawa and there are plans to construct a Holocaust memorial.

 

Ambassador Ziv congratulated the Harper government for its determination in standing besides Israel. She noted that opposition leader Michael Ignatieff has expressed strong support of Israel and added that political cooperation has continued over the years, even when the ruling parties came from different sides of the political spectrum.

 

Anti-Israel Atmosphere

A lengthy discussion has taken place regarding the escalating anti-Israel atmosphere in Canada, particularly on Canadian campuses, and about the concerns prompted by Israel Apartheid Week. Ziv pointed out that activities aimed at delegitimizing Israel began seven years ago when Israel Apartheid Week started on Canadian campuses, and added that she and her staff invest a great amount of effort in speaking to students on campus in order to stop the flow. The continued calls to boycott Israeli products, she pointed out, are unsuccessful. Ziv said she does not believe that the Gaza War was the cause of the anti-Israel activity.

 

Publicity on the Internet

The ambassador also said that Israel deals with anti-Israel events by utilizing an Internet-centred publicity system. She explained that the Foreign Ministry’s website continuously posts updates about events that Israel wishes to respond to. At the same time, the Consul General focuses on branding Israel in positive ways. Ziv pointed out that she regrets the posting on the Canadian Foreign Ministry’s website advising against traveling to Israel, and added that she has asked the warning to be removed several times, but to no avail, since the Canadian government has its own policy and it wishes to warn its citizens about possible threats while traveling to Israel.

 

Ziv addressed the issue of the level of condemnation of the Israeli decision to build in Ramat Shlomo. Comparing Canada’s response to that of Europe, Ziv said that Canada’s response was lukewarm and expressed its policy regarding construction in Jerusalem, which Ziv emphasized has not changed.

 

Strong Economic Ties

The ambassador noted the ongoing cooperation activities between the two countries which is based on mutual agreements. One leading example is the Canada-Israel Industrial Research and Development Foundation (CIIRDF), which develops Israeli technologies and implements them in the Canadian market. She said that Israel and Canada have a shared interest in a number of fields, including cleantech, water treatment and medical advancements, and explained that both sides work actively to cooperate, with innovation being a joint interest. Ziv mentioned Premier Dalton McGuinty’s visit to Israel which is scheduled to take place at the end of May. McGuinty will travel with a delegation of representatives from Canadian hospitals and medical companies as an expression of the continued expansion of business ties between the two countries.



Related articles: (miriam ziv, canada, israel, israeli ambassador)




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