Source: Facebook

Conservative deputy leader Melissa Lantsman dodged a question on whether or not a Conservative government would move Canada’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. 

At a Toronto press conference on Friday, Lantsman expressed her support and solidarity with Israel and Jewish Canadians, however she did not say whether or not a Conservative government would move the embassy.

“Look I would say that the Jewish community today has a big problem in this country with antisemitism, with violence in their streets, with violence in the neighbourhoods,” said Lantsman.

“Our country has a long standing position when it comes to our relationship with our friend and ally and we want to see that violence certainly in the region stops, we want to see the hostages returned…and we will continue advocating the position of moral clarity that we have always had on this.”

Lantsman also took a dig at the tact that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has taken in responding to the Oct. 7 attack against Israeli civilians and his support for Canadian Jews.

“I think the prime minister is the one who has a different position everyday and who is making his community feel unsafe and he is making our streets more dangerous than they were.”

Despite shrugging off the question, in the past Lantsman has expressed enthusiastic support for moving Canada’s embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a goal that the Jewish community has long sought in recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.. 

In a February 2022 post on Instagram, Lantsman conveyed her proud support for moving Canada’s embassy to Jerusalem and outrage that the Trudeau government had not.

“Even before I took my seat in Parliament, I have always been loud and clear – (Canada)’s Embassy belongs in Jerusalem. The capital of (Israel). But this Government doesn’t believe that,” wrote Lantsman.

Last year, at a talk hosted by the Israel Allies Caucus and chaired by Conservative MP Leslyn Lewis, Israeli cabinet minister Amichai Chikil urged Canada to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

In his remarks, Chikil explained how King David had established Jerusalem as the capital of Israel 3,000 years ago, thus making it the rightful capital for the Jewish state. 

In 2018, then-president Donald Trump moved the United States Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel, a decision that was not overturned by his successor, Joe Biden.

In 2019, former Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said that if he were elected prime minister, he would move the embassy to Jerusalem.