Justin Trudeau
Justin TrudeauREUTERS/Jessica Lee

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday published a statement on the occasion of Israel’s Independence Day.

“Today, we join Israelis, Jewish communities, and others across Canada and around the world to celebrate the 76th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel,” said Trudeau.

“In 1948, Canada was among the first countries to recognize Israel’s independence, later establishing diplomatic relations in 1949. In the 75 years since, our countries have forged a close friendship and strong bilateral relationship, anchored in deep people-to-people ties. Canada is proud to be home to the fourth largest Jewish community in the world, with a population of nearly 400,000 people of Jewish heritage who have – and continue to – make our country more inclusive, diverse, and prosperous. The establishment of the State of Israel reflected the principle that Jewish people – like all peoples – have the right to determine their own future. Canada supported this principle in 1948 and we stand by it today,” he added.

The Prime Minister noted that “[t]his year’s celebrations of Israel’s independence come at a particularly challenging time for Jewish communities. Hamas’ brutal October 7 terrorist attacks were the deadliest attacks on the Jewish people since the Holocaust, Hamas must immediately lay down its arms and release all hostages. We will always defend Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state. We remain unwavering in our support for the Israeli people to live in peace and security, and we reaffirm our support for a two-state solution in which Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side with security and dignity, and without fear.”

Trudeau denounced the rise in antisemitism in Canada and around the world, saying, “In recent months, we’ve seen a disturbing rise in antisemitism across the world, including right here in Canada. This must not continue. Whether it’s at a synagogue or a Jewish business or school; whether it’s wearing the Star of David or a Kippah – Jewish Canadians deserve to feel safe, supported, and welcomed. They deserve to live openly and proudly Jewish lives, without intimidation or fear. Too often in recent months, Canadians have been threatened, harassed, and excluded because of their faith, their identity, or because they support the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in their ancestral homeland. That is unacceptable and must stop.”

“Through initiatives such as the Security Infrastructure Program and the Community Resilience Fund, we are investing in the security of communities targeted by hate-motivated crime and working with local organizations to prevent violent extremism in our communities. And through Budget 2024, we are investing over $273 million over six years to implement Canada’s Action Plan on Combatting Hate. An inclusive, diverse Canada is a better, fairer Canada,” he said.

“Canada stands with the Israeli peoples in their right to live in security and in their determination for long-lasting peace. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I send my regards on Israel Independence Day. Yom Ha’atzmaut Sameach!” concluded Trudeau.