Photo Credit: Taylor Atkinson, public domain
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly with a friend.

On Monday, a majority of 204-117 of Canada’s Parliament backed a resolution urging the government to strive “for the establishment of the state of Palestine.” It was toned down from the original resolution Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau requested – unilateral recognition of a Palestinian State. But the motion also included a segment calling on the federal government to “suspend all trade in military goods and technology with Israel and increase efforts to stop the illegal trade of arms, including to Hamas.”

And then, on Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly announced that Canada will cease all future arms exports to Israel, insisting, “It is a real thing.”


The FM, who is authorized to approve Canada’s military trade contracts with foreign countries, reiterated in an interview with the Toronto Star that the new policy change is significant, not merely symbolic.

Here’s the thing, though: Israel is arming Canada at close to the same rate Canada is arming Israel. This is because the bulk of the material Canada sends to Israel is modified by the local maestros of industrial improv and shipped back to the Canadian Armed Forces, or sold to Canada’s military clients abroad.

You see the problem? Just like an American suspension of the annual $3.8 billion military aid to Israel would result mostly in mass layoffs in America’s military-industrial complex, so would a Canadian ban on military trade with Israel send lots of blue-collar Canadians to the unemployment line.

An April 13, 2022 report of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), a vehemently anti-Israeli group, conceded that “a significant percentage of Canada’s recent military exports to Israel are categorized as explosives or related components” – meaning, Canada sends Israel the assets, and Israel puts them together and ships them back ready to point and shoot. In a sense, this is reminiscent of colonial England getting wool for its mills from Australia and New Zealand and shipping back for sale ready-to-wear garments. Except in this case, Israeli is the colonizer and Canada is its B word.

In 2022, Canada’s annual report showed that Israel was the top non-US destination in terms of the number of utilized export permits for military goods and technology.

But that’s where the comparison between the US and its neighbor to the north ends when it comes to military trade with Israel. While the US this year is pushing $5 billion, including the routine $3.8 billion annually, the volume of Canadian arms sales to Israel held at $14 to $18 million annually, and since October 7, 2023, has jumped to an estimated $20 million.

So, with all due respect, Canadian military exports to Israel are relatively insignificant.

And the same goes, you know, to Canada…


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