Speaker Yuli Edelstein, who used to serve as chairman of the Israel-Canada Parliamentary Friendship Group, on Thursday told visiting Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland about the recent murders of Ari Fuld outside a shopping mall in Gush Etzion, and of Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi at the Barkan Industrial Zone.
“Despite efforts to increase cooperation, Palestinians view shared industrial and entertainment areas as terror targets,” Edelstein said.
The Speaker updated Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland on the results of Tuesday’s municipal elections in Israel. Edelstein proudly told FM Freeland, a feminist activist, about the achievements of female candidates this year.
“For the first time, a woman was elected mayor of one of the three largest cities in Israel (Haifa),” the Speaker told the FM. “In addition, there were some surprising results, such as the tight race between the male and female candidates in the Orthodox city of Beit Shemesh. Moreover, in light of [MK] Jackie Levy’s election as mayor of Beit She’an, he will be replaced in the Likud [parliamentary faction] by Osnat Mark, and with her addition the number of female MKs will hit the all-time high number of 36, constituting 30% of the lawmakers in parliament.”
Speaker Edelstein also addressed the electoral system in Israel, saying he is against raising the electoral threshold. “Despite the fact that there are currently 10 factions in the Israeli parliament, I still believe this is the best representation of democracy,” he stated.
FM Freeland, 50, said politics should not affect the warm relations between Canada and Israel. She said the nature of these relations is strategic, and noted that the Jewish community in Canada is the third largest Jewish community in the world, and is is very active and influential in Canada.