Canada solidifies position as Israel's staunchest friend

Wednesday, February 01, 2012 |  Ryan Jones

Among Western powers, America may be Israel's greatest ally, but Canada has been making a play for the title of "staunchest friend."

Speaking at the opening of the 12th annual Herzliya Conference on Monday, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird blasted efforts to delegitimize Israel and its claim to the land as nothing short of anti-Semitism.

"Harnessing disparate anti- Semitic, anti-American and anti-Western ideologies, [these antagonists] target the Jewish people by targeting the Jewish homeland, Israel, as the source of injustice and conflict in the world, and use, perversely, the language of human rights to do so," Baird said. "We must be relentless in exposing this new anti-Semitism for what it is."

Baird declared that Canada would not be among those nations that engage in anti-Israel rhetoric out of some misguided obligation to be "even-handed."

During a meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Baird said that while Canada officially supports a two-state solution to the conflict, it views the Palestinian Authority's efforts to unilaterally wrest control of the land via the UN Security Council as "profoundly wrong."

Back in Jerusalem, Baird told Israeli President Shimon Peres that "Israel has no better friend than Canada," and stressed that "Canada does not stand behind Israel; Canada stands shoulder to shoulder with Israel."

Like in the neighboring United States, the topic of Israel has become a major point of policy debate in Canadian elections.

[Ed. Note - We want to emphasize that the focus of this story is on relations between Israel and the national governments of its allies. Israel Today is well aware that the Jewish state enjoys enormous support from the people of America.]

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