A group of Canadian parliamentarians arrived in Jerusalem on Monday for a secretly planned visit aimed at showing solidarity with Israel.
The five MPs, two Liberals and three Conservatives, are part of a larger delegation of about 60 people, including Canadian Jewish leaders. They will meet with some of their Israeli counterparts and pay their respects to the victims of the October 7 Hamas attack.
“We want to make it clear to Israelis that Canadians support Israel,” said Jewish Liberal MP Anthony Hausfather.
In a phone interview with CBC News, Housefather said the purpose of the trip was to give members of parliament a better understanding of what happened on Oct. 7 and the Israeli government’s plans, meet with the families of the hostages, and He said he was demanding his immediate release. . The members of parliament will take part in a number of activities and meetings throughout Israel during their multi-day trip.
The trip was planned before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s call for Israel to avoid civilian casualties in Canada’s war with designated terrorist group Hamas.
“I would not have used the language that the Prime Minister used,” Housefather said.
“I wouldn’t have used his tone.”
high level diplomatic tensions
At an event in British Columbia last Tuesday, Prime Minister Trudeau called on the Israeli government to “exercise the utmost restraint” regarding military operations in Gaza.
“The killing of women, children and infants, this has to stop.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu immediately rebuked Trudeau on social media.
It is not Israel that intentionally targets civilians; it is Hamas that carries out the beheadings and burnings. and massacred civilians in the worst horror perpetrated against Jews since the Holocaust.
While Israel is doing everything it can to protect civilians from danger, Hamas…
“It is not Israel that is intentionally targeting civilians, but Hamas, which beheaded, burned and massacred civilians in the worst tragedies perpetrated against Jews since the Holocaust,” he previously said. he wrote on Platform X, then known as Twitter.
“While Israel is doing everything to protect civilians from danger, Hamas is also doing everything to protect civilians from danger,” Netanyahu added.
The death toll from conflict continues to rise. Israel says about 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel, and about 240 remain as hostages taken during that attack. Subsequent Israeli airstrikes and ground operations in Gaza have killed more than 12,300 people, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.
Asked if he was concerned about a possible backlash to Trudeau’s comments, Housefather explained that “…how much support the prime minister has actually had for Israel” since Trudeau was first elected in 2015. I answered that I would.
Housefather cited Canada’s voting record at the United Nations as evidence of the Trudeau government’s support for Israel.
“People are trying to read into one statement rather than a whole-of-government approach,” he said. “I think explaining that to Israelis definitely helps them understand that Canada stands with Israel as an ally.”