During a recent visit to Ottawa, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his Canadian counterpart, Defense Minister Peter MacKay, announced that military cooperation agreements between Israel and Canada would be forthcoming by end of the year. In an email interview, Rex Brynen, a professor of political science at McGill University, discussed Canada-Israel relations.
WPR: What is the recent history of Canada-Israel diplomatic, economic and security relations?
Rex Brynen: While Canadian-Israeli ties have long been very friendly, there has been a marked shift to even closer relations under Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and recent Conservative governments. This has been manifest in less willingness to criticize certain Israeli actions, such as settlement construction; strong pro-Israeli public statements; changes in Canada’s historical voting position on various U.N. resolutions; and even a willingness to block any reference to the 1967 borders as a basis for negotiation at the G-8 summit earlier this year.