Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, called Justin Trudeau on October 23 to congratulate him on his victory in the federal elections, but both sides abstained at the time from issuing any official announcement about the conversation and its content.
Talking to the Canadian Press, Kate Purchase, Trudeau’s spokeswoman, described the conversation between Trudeau and Netanyahu as a “very positive call” adding that Trudeau “explained there would be a shift in tone but Canada would continue to be a friend of Israel’s.” Rafael Barak, Israel’s ambassador to Canada, said that Netanyahu invited Trudeau to visit Israel.
On the other side, Hamdi Abu Ali, the Palestinian chargé d’affaires in Ottawa, wishes to see a turnabout in Canadian – Palestinian relations. “We hope this new government will join the international community and recognize the state of Palestine,” Abu Ali said in an exclusive interview to the Ottawa Citizen. “We are confident that Canada will start to see us as a people who want to join other nations in having their own independence and their own sovereignty.”
During the election campaign, Trudeau pledged to change Canada’s foreign policy by espousing a more “balanced” approach in the Middle East.
The Canadian Palestinian leadership which publicly sided with the “Palestinian Intifada” (also called “al-Quds Intifada” and the “Knife Intifada”), expressed its hope that the 10 newly-elected Liberal Muslim members of parliament succeed in their efforts to reform Canada’s foreign policy.
Rashad Saleh, the Secretary of Fatah movement in Canada, who called his supporters to vote for Omar Alghabra, the Liberal Party’s candidate, gloated over the “ousting of the right-wing Conservative Party and the racist government that was more Zionist than Netanyahu’s government.” He emphasized that “we have to rebuild the relations [with the government] and the Canadian – Palestinian committees in Parliament.”
Nazih Khatataba, a board member of the Mississauga-based Palestine House, wrote on his Facebook page (originally in Arabic): “We anticipate that they [Muslim MPs] will change Canada’s policy particularly with regard to the positions towards global issues, the Palestinian problem and the repealing of the oppressive Bill that was passed by the parliament during the Conservative government.”
(This article originally appeared at CIJNews.com)
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