New Canadian Defense Minister is a Friend to Israel

Canada's new Minister of National Defense, Jason Kenney, is a fierce advocate of both Israel and Canada's Jewish community.

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Cynthia Blank,

Canada's Immigration Minister Jason Kenney
Canada's Immigration Minister Jason Kenney
Reuters

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Monday a set of changes to different Canadian ministries at a swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Ontario. 

One of those changes is the appointment of Conservative party politician Jason Kenney as the Minister of National Defense. 

Kenney, who has also served as the Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism since 2008, is known for his broad support of the Jewish state and the Jewish community of Canada.

During a visit to Israel in 2009, Kenney addressed the steps Canada had taken against organizations that support the boycott of Israel. 

"We have de-funded organizations, most recently, like KAIROS who are taking a leadership role in the boycott [of Israel]. We're receiving a lot of criticism for these decisions … but we believe we have done these things for the right reasons, and we stand by these decisions."  

He has also been a sincere active advocate for Jewish community projects, including garnering government funding for a 2013 March of the Living Digital Archive project. 

In a 2014 interview with Postmedia News, Kenney defended the Harper government's fierce support for Israel, and argued it was not based on political motivations. 

"The real reason that we have taken these positions is because we see what is, in our view, plainly evident. Israel faces a daily existential struggle for its survival and is a refuge for the Jewish people born out of the ashes of the Holocaust." 

"It is attacked daily, it is targeted for elimination, precisely in part because it represents to some people in the Middle East a kind of aberrant presence of western civilization there," Kenney explained. 

"Our policy is, in part, predicated on actually taking Israel's enemies at their word. ... I don't think we can approach the Middle East pretending or wishing away those, frankly, evil sentiments." 

"There is some kind of moral obligation on the entire world to support a secure homeland for the Jewish people — given not just the Holocaust, but the entire history of anti-Semitism. Both in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere." 

Kenney also stressed that emerging anti-Semitism in Canada should be curbed. 

Writing on Facebook in both French and English, Kenney expressed gratitude for the new position. 

"Deeply honoured to be appointed Minister of National Defence. No greater privilege than to serve the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces."

"Thank-you to the wonderful team at Employment and Social Development Canada for their support and good work, especially in advancing the skills for jobs agenda." 








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