Kent: An Attack on Israel is an Attack on Canada

Published: February 12th 2010

The Honourable Peter Kent
Globe and Mail article quoting Minister Kent's comments from Shalom Life

Kent also said that Canada believes Iran is a threat not just to its own people, but also to the countries surrounding it, including Israel. Being the MP for a largely Jewish constituency as well as having visited Jewish communities in South America and specifically Venezuela, Kent has heard some concerns from the Jewish community regarding Iran. “I hear concerns from Jewish constituents all the time. I was in Venezuela a couple of weeks ago and the community there expressed its concern, not only with events on the ground in Iran, the human rights situation and the threatening nuclear situation, but on the developing Iranian relationship with the government of Venezuela. I met last week in Ottawa with Israel’s finance minister and Israel’s ambassador to Canada and that was another point of discussion. As you know we do not have normal diplomatic relations with Iran. We have what are called controlled relations and we will only communicate with Iran with regard to the nuclear issues, with regard to human rights in Iran, with regard to the case of Mrs. Kazemi and with regard to Iran’s destabilizing effect on the Middle East and with regard to its continuing threats to Israel.”


He expressed Canada’s continued friendship and support of Israel. “Prime Minister Harper has made it quite clear for some time now and has regularly stated that an attack on Israel would be considered an attack on Canada,” said Kent and added that Israel is considered an ally of Canada. “We work with our allies. We regularly convey our concern in a variety of ways, at the United Nations, as well as one on one. Foreign Minister Cannon made a point last year of travelling all the way to Turkey for a regional conference simply so he could confront directly and personally [Iranian] Foreign Minister Mottaki to convey our concern at the time with regards to the brutal repression after the election. But we work with our allies, we work with the international community. We certainly share information and views with the government of Israel and with other democracies. As I say our concern is tangible and we are considering actions with our allies, including sanctions.”


Finally, Kent said that a military strike on Iran is still not an option at this time and would be the last option to deal with the Iranian situation. “There have been observations from a number of governments that say that military action may be an ultimate consideration. But again, Canada is working with all of its allies and with Israel to stay on top of the situation and to try and resolve this peacefully. A military strike is the last possible option but that remains in the broad range of options and unfortunate possibilities.”


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