The newly appointed Liberal Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne addressed Canada’s decision to support an anti-Israel motion in the United Nations on Wednesday.
The Liberal government reversed its long-standing support for the state of Israel after voting in favour of a resolution sponsored by North Korea, which demonizes the Middle-Eastern democracy and overlooks the terror activities of Hamas.
“I think people in the Jewish community in Canada and across the world see Canada as an ally, but there are times when we must express our opinion and our position as we did yesterday at the UN,” said Champagne about the decision.
Many critics pointed at Trudeau’s desire to gain a seat on the UN Security Council. Since 2016, the Trudeau government has spent $1.5 million on gifts for UN officials and other expenses.
Last year, the Trudeau government also abstained from a vote to recognize Jerusalem and Israel’s capital, claiming that Canada shouldn’t compromise its values to get a seat on the council.
“If we have to compromise our values and principles to get the seat, it loses its usefulness,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The prime minister also rejected the idea of moving the Canadian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
During the federal election campaign, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer suggested that if he were to win, he would move the embassy to Jerusalem.
Under former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canada became one of Israel’s staunchest allies.
Harper frequently defended Israel in speeches and statements and pushed for closer bilateral ties between the two countries. In 2014, Harper became the first Canadian prime minister to address the Knesset.