Canadian political magazine Maclean's recently ranked Israeli Ambassador Miriam Ziv among the 25 most influential people in Canadian politics. Interestingly, Ziv was the only non-Canadian to make the list.
As expected, the list opens with Prime Minister Stephen Harpher, who has done much to strengthen Israel-Canada ties in recent years to the point that Israel became a major policy topic in Canada's last general election.
Under Harper, Canada supports Israel unequivocally, and recently severed diplomatic ties with Iran over its repeated threats against the Jewish state. Canadian Foreign Minister John Bird was quoted as saying that "Israel has no greater friend than Canada."
It is no accident that Ambassador Miriam Ziv is the one representing Israel during this "honeymoon" period with Canada. Ziv is one of Israel's most senior diplomats, and according to the magazine she had an important impact on Canada's overtly pro-Israel policies.
In an interview with Maclean's Ziv stated:
"There is no doubt that I have good relationships with government ministers [in Ottawa]. I can call them directly, talk to them, and see how to promote things. Doors are open for me. ...[But] I can not take full credit for this friendship. I hope that I am able to contribute something to these special relations, which are based first on shared values."
The magazine noted that apart from security issues such as Iran and Hamas, Ziv also emphasizes strengthening ties between the two countries in the economic, academic and cultural spheres. "My bodyguards like to point out my tireless running around to convince business people, politicians and academics to visit Israel," Ziv concluded.