The election of Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau as prime minister represents the first change in Canadian government since Stephen Harper and his Conservatives assumed power in 2006. What is unlikely to change, however, is Ottawa’s robust support for Israel — a policy cemented under Harper, whose forceful backing of the Jewish state earned him a reputation as one of world’s most pro-Israel political leaders. When it comes to core Jewish issues, Trudeau has said all the right things since assuming the Liberal leadership in 2013. He continued to do so throughout the 78-day election campaign, which ended Monday with his center-left party’s crushing defeat of the Conservatives.
Though some are lamenting the loss of such a reliable defender of Israel, Trudeau has, like his predecessor, stressed that Canada will remain a strong friend of Israel. In a statement earlier this year, he praised the two countries’ “enduring bond of friendship, rooted in our shared commitment to peace and democracy.” And during the Israel-Gaza conflict last summer, he called Hamas “a terrorist organization” and upheld Israel’s right to defend itself. He has also criticized efforts by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement to pressure Israel. FULL REPORT