The Canadian Institute for Jewish Research (CIJR) welcomes opposition leader Andrew Scheer’s announcement that the Conservative Party will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will move Canada’s embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
As the spiritual and political center of the Jewish people, Israel has officially proclaimed Jerusalem its capital since 1949. Canada is a friend to Israel and the Israeli people. We share a commitment to democratic and humanistic values. These bonds of friendship have been greatly strengthened in recent years due to scientific, economic and cultural cooperation. It is, therefore, no longer appropriate to ignore the democratic will of the Israeli people. CIJR believes that it falls upon Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to join Andrew Scheer in acknowledging this reality.
We believe that this step will further peace in the region: In any peace plan under consideration, the status of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is not in dispute. The unelected Palestinian Authority (PA) has rejected several peace proposals in the last two decades: Camp David (2000), the Clinton Parameters (2000), Ehud Olmert’s offer in Annapolis (2008) as well as the Kerry/Obama peace plan (2014). Non-recognition of Israel’s capital has only furthered the PA’s intransigence and strengthened their hardliners, who prefer the status quo to a peaceful settlement with Israel.
Recognizing the realities on the ground is essential for achieving reconciliation and a lasting peace between the Israeli and the Palestinian people.