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October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Canada Says One Thing And Publishes Another on Israel, Lawyers Say

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Former Israeli ambassador to Canada Alan Baker and prominent Toronto lawyers have condemned an apparent discrepancy between Ottawa’s fervid public support for Israel and official policy.

Baker, who served as Israel’s ambassador to Canada from 2004 to 2008, and six Toronto lawyers, have written to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird demanding the Foreign Affairs Department website be changed “to align it with statements and policies publicly expressed by the Prime Minister, yourself and other government representatives,” the National Post newspaper reported.

The complaint comes on the eve of a high-profile visit by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper next week.

The attorneys are particularly upset that the website refers to Judea and Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as “occupied territories” and declares the construction of Jewish communities and parts of the separation barrier inside those areas as illegal.

“Parts of this policy statement appear to run counter to the Canadian expressions of support for Israel and its positions,” the group wrote, “as well as against specific statements repeatedly made by Prime Minister Harper and Foreign Minister Baird.”

Information on the Foreign Affairs website reflects long-standing Canadian policy, which comports with the widely accepted international view that the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are occupied territory because they were restored to Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967.

In response, Baird’s spokesman, Rick Roth, said Harper and his Conservative government “have articulated Canada’s policy on Israel and the Middle East at great length since 2006.

“Israel has no greater friend in the world than Canada,” Roth told the Post, “and it is through our actions, not just words, that this rings true.”

Canada Names Critic of Palestinians New Envoy to Israel

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Canada’s new Ambassador to Israel is Toronto lawyer Vivian Bercovici, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced Wednesday.

She is a former Finance Ministry policy adviser and a severe critic of the Palestinian Authority.

She’s smart and capable and will be able to represent this government well,” said Baird , who pointed out that she will be the representative to Israel exclusively and not the Palestinian Authority.

Asked about a general consensus that she is far from being a fan of the Palestinian Authority, Baird replied, “It won’t be a huge shock to anyone that Canada is a strong supporter of Israel.”

The appointment comes less than two weeks before Prime Minister Stephen Harper will make his first trip to Israel as head of the government.

Bercovici writes a column in the Toronto Star, where last April she lambasted major media for not exposing the Palestinian Authority’s goon squad tactics to squelch press freedom while trying to turn Israel into a miserable offender.

Last January she wrote, “The Palestinian leadership, in the meantime, carries on with its unequivocal message — calling for the destruction of Israel — disseminated openly in political forums, the tightly controlled media and taught freely in schools and universities.

“That western leaders, among them President Barack Obama and U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague, regard Israel as the peace spoiler, defies logic.”

Canadian Girl Guides Cookies Go Kosher

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

The famous Girl Guides cookies now have the OU approval as being kosher thanks to an all-Orthodox troop in Canada, but their chocolate mint cookies still are on the forbidden list. All Girl Scout cookies in the United States have been kosher for at least 20 years, said organization spokesman Stewart Goodbody.

When the 31 Jewish girls established the 613th Thornhill Pathfinder Unit  in Thornhill, Ontario, a heavily Jewish suburb north of Toronto, the first question member Sara Silverman asked was, “When do we start selling cookies?” according to the Girl Guides of Canada. But the troop could not bring the cookies into the synagogue where they met.

The unit “badly wanted to raise funds for Girl Guides and for camps, trips and other activities,” noted the Guides this week on its website. The unit’s leader wrote the organization, asking how to make the iconic treats kosher.

The Guides said they worked closely with the cookies’ manufacturer, Dare Foods Ltd., and found there was nothing non-kosher in  the ingredients in their classic chocolate and vanilla cookies sold in the spring.

All that was required was formal certification. Recently, the Guides confirmed that the spring cookies would be certified under the auspices of the Orthodox Union (OU).

The process was “a relatively simple and fiscally feasible endeavor,” the Guides said.

There will be no similar fate for the time being for the group’s chocolate mint cookies, sold in the fall, because of non-kosher ingredients in their coating, the group said.

“It feels like our unit has made a difference,” Avigail Rucker, a 12-year-old Guide, told The Canadian Jewish News.

Israel Sixth Favorite Country for Americans, Says Survey

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Israel is the sixth favorite country of American citizens and Saudi Arabia is their least favorite among allies, according to a Pew Research Center survey carried out in November and released this week.

The Jewish state was viewed favorably by 61 percent of Americans and was sixth behind Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, and Brazil.

Some 26 percent of Americans view Israel unfavorably, while 81 percent of Americans viewed Canada favorably and 9 percent unfavorably, by contrast.

Saudi Arabia was at the bottom of the list of 12 countries that are U.S. allies, with 27 percent of Americans viewing the country favorably and 57 percent unfavorably.

Meanwhile, more Republicans than Democrats like Israel with 74 percent of Republicans viewing Israel favorably to 55 percent of Democrats.

The survey was part of a larger survey on “America’s place in the world.”

Canadian Prime Minister to Address the Knesset

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will deliver a speech to the Knesset during his visit to Israel next month, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein announced Wednesday.

Harper will lead an entourage of approximately 200 politicians, businessmen and journalists towards late January. ‘”I am happy and proud to host the prime minister of Canada, a courageous and true friend of Israel,” Edelstein stated.

Harper has stood behind Israel more than other world leader the past several years, backing it during the crises in the Second Lebanon War, counter-terrorist operations in Gaza and on the Mavi Mamara flotilla that was manned by IHH terrorists in 2010.

Harper told a recent Jewish National Fund dinner in Canada, where he announced his forthcoming trip, “In the world of diplomacy, we know how easy it is to drift away from Israel. We understand that the future of our country and of our shared civilization depends on the survival and thriving of that free and democratic homeland of the Jewish people in the Middle East.”

Canada Sends Ex-Jobbik Leader Packing before Montreal Speech

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Canadian immigration officials this week ordered a former leader of the ultra-nationalist Jobbik party in Hungary out of the country prior to a speaking engagement in Montreal.

Csanad Szegedi was sent back to Budapest on a plane just before he was slated to address a Chabad group. Approximately 200 people who came out to hear Szegedi, who two years ago discovered he had a maternal Jewish grandmother and was ousted by Jobbik, instead heard a videotaped message.

“I acknowledge that I have a lot of sins,” Szegedi said. “And this is why I understand those people who are not happy me being here. But these sins I try to rectify not only at the verbal level but at the level of my actions.

“I have to tell the Canadian Jewish community … that I am exactly such a Jew as they are. I cannot help it — as you cannot help it.”

Szegedi, 31, was a leading figure in the neo-fascist Jobbik party for a decade and was known for his rabid anti-Semitism. After discovering his Jewish relative — an Auschwitz survivor — he made contact with Chabad representatives in Hungary. He since has embraced his Jewish roots and publicly denounced Jobbik.

His talk at Montreal’s Chabad of Westmount was titled “My Journey From Hater to Fighter of Hatred,” but the speaking engagement caused a backlash in Montreal’s Jewish community, with detractors charging that his denunciation of Jobbik is insincere and that he only embraced his Jewish identity after he failed to suppress the news through bribery.

Arabs Accuse Israel of Deploying Trees as Soldiers in the Negev

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Arabs in Canada tried to protest an appearance by Canadian Prime Stephen Harper at a Jewish National Fund of Canada event because trees that the JNF plants are “soldiers in the Zionist army of occupation,” the website of the Yediot Acharonot newspaper reported.

Harper has staunchly stood in support of Israel more than any other leader in the world and plans to visit the country in January for the first time as Prime Minister.

The JNF hosted Harper at the “Negev Dinner” Sunday, and Canadian police prevented disturbances from protesters, already riled up by the Palestinian Authority over the “Prawer Plan,” designed as a compromise to make some kind of order out of chaos on the Negev that has been overrun by tens of thousands of Bedouin in recent years.

More than 3,500 supporters of Israel, including Christians, attended the high-priced fundraiser, where Harper made a personal donation to Israel for an aviary to be known as the Stephen J. Harper Hula Valley Bird Sanctuary Visitor and Education Center in northern Israel.

He announced his first official trip to the Middle East and was so excited that he broke out into song, singing songs from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

In a videotaped message played after Mr. Harper spoke, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lauded his Canadian counterpart for “unabashedly, unapologetically,” standing up for Israel.

Outside the convention hall where the dinner was held, Arabs chanted, “Harper, Harper, will you see, Palestine will be free.” The Calgary Herald quoted  activist  Yafa Jarrar as saying, “The main message really is to push Canada to end its complicity with these violations of international law that Israel commits.”

The activist may have been referring the war crimes committed by those “soldiers” who have been planted to occupy Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/arabs-accuse-israel-of-deploying-trees-as-soldiers-in-the-negev/2013/12/02/

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