The Canadian Press:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has offered his congratulations to prime minister designate Justin Trudeau in a telephone call affirming the friendship of the two countries — even if it won’t always be shouted from Canada’s rooftops.
Rafael Barak, Israel’s ambassador to Canada, said the call from Netanyahu took place last Friday, and left his country assured that relations between Canada and the Jewish state will remain strong after the defeat of the Harper Conservatives on Oct. 19.
Barak told The Canadian Press on Thursday that Trudeau also has a record of unwavering support for Israel.
“Mr. Trudeau has been very consistent from the very beginning of his campaign, in expressing his support for Israel,” said Barak.
“I’m sure maybe the style will change,” the envoy added. “But I don’t feel there will be a change on the substance. I’m really reassured.”
Kate Purchase, Trudeau’s spokeswoman, characterized the conversation as a “very positive call.”
Trudeau also “explained there would be a shift in tone but Canada would continue to be a friend of Israel’s,” she added.
During the federal election campaign, Trudeau also said he would re-establish diplomatic relations with Iran, which Israel views as an existential threat.
Canada severed diplomatic relations with Iran, closing its embassy in Tehran and kicking Iranian diplomats out of Canada on Sept. 7, 2012, citing concerns over the safety of its diplomats, and calling Iran a threat to world peace.
At the time, Netanyahu called that “not only an act of statesmanship, but an act of moral clarity.”
Barak said if Trudeau follows through on re-establishing relations with Iran, it would not be damaging to relations with Israel.
“This is a Canadian issue . . . It is a domestic Canadian consideration of the security of their diplomats,” said Barak.
“On Iran, he has also been saying all the right things that Canada has been saying.”
“We hope that we will see him soon,” Barak said. “It was a very warm call.”
See also: “Envoy asks Trudeau to recognize Palestinian sovereignty” (The Ottawa Citizen)