His Excellency Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
We congratulate you on the great success of your trip to Israel and on the important and heartwarming speech to Israel’s Knesset. Your visit, which occurred during a challenging period of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and uncertainties over the future of Iran’s nuclear program, was deeply appreciated by Israelis and Israel’s supporters throughout the world, and served as a clear demonstration of Canada’s steadfast support for Israel.
Your stirring and heartfelt Knesset speech underscored the strength of the relationship Canada and Israel have built over the years. This alliance, rooted in both shared values and strategic interests, has manifested itself in strong bilateral trade relations, broadening mutual investment opportunities and important military and intelligence cooperation.
You further touched on a number of important issues and challenges facing Israel, including the ongoing threat of terrorism and extremism, the conflict with the Palestinians and the dangers posed by a nuclear Iran. On the issue of Iran, Canada’s strong support for sanctions against the regime, and public stance against the vile comments made by senior Iranian officials about Israel, played an important role in adding to the pressure on the Iranian regime to agree to enter into negotiations with the P5+1.
There was great significance in your ringing recognition of the Jewish State of Israel as “absolute and non-negotiable,” and your unequivocal assertion that Canada supports Israel “because it is right to do so.” These comments were especially important at a time when many in the international community call for boycotts against Israel and question its right to exist as a Jewish State, with some actively denying the millennia-long Jewish presence in and connection to the land of Israel. Many of those deniers, as you rightly pointed out, express not only a hatred of Jews but also threaten anyone who is unlike them. It is this common enemy that Canada and Israel have joined together against in a fight to combat global hatred and intolerance.
Mr. Prime Minister, Canada has long served as a haven for Jewish life, where Jews live as proud Canadian citizens who freely practice their faith without fear of prejudice or persecution. And it is in this spirit that the government and people of Canada have built a strong and prosperous relationship with the Jewish State of Israel. We look forward to seeing this friendship continue to flourish in the years to come.
With respect and admiration for your leadership of the people and country of Canada.
Abraham H. Foxman