I’m hoping Trudeau visits Israel in 2017, says Liberal MP Michael Levitt
A group of ten Canadian MPs from all three parties, led by CIJA, spent a week in Israel in July. They came from all across Canada and from diverse backgrounds.
For most, it was their first time in the country and a truly “eye opening experience”, said Michael Levitt, MP York Centre and Chair of the Canada-Israel Friendship Group. He said it was an “experiential learning” that took them all over Israel, to briefings with the IDF and a lot of time in the Knesset.
The discussion in the Knesset was wide-ranging and touched on issues of common concern to both countries, such as immigration and economics. “It was a wonderful to see how they all connected and to see relationships build. We have a lot of common ground and common values with Israel.”
One afternoon was spent in Ramallah with Palestinian business and community leaders. Discussion, Levitt said was “open and honest”. When a Canadian brought up Palestinian incitement against Israelis, the response was “there’s lots of work to be done.”
“The Parliamentarians were impressed with the vibrancy of Israel – that despite the challenges it remains a beacon of hope in the Middle East,” he said.
“I’m hoping to start working with the Prime Minister’s office to get him to Israel this year or next,” he said.
He is committed to bringing all the parties together in support of Israel. On February 18th, he gave a speech in support of a Parliamentary motion condemning BDS.
“The BDS movement has no place on Canadian university campuses…” he began. The motion called on the Canadian government “to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organization ,groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad.” It passed overwhelmingly.
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