Justin Trudeau in 2014. Photo Source: Alex Guibord
Canada has found itself in a rather big uproar in the last few days as Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party won a 184 seat majority in the Canadian parliament. Yet the question remains: Will he continue to support Israel, similar to Harper’s famous commitment? Will Israel lose a salient friend? Let us not forget what Harper said in 2014 while giving a speech in front of the Israeli Knesset: “Through fire and water, Canada will stand with you.”The very issue of Israel is something that did not really prop up in one of the most heated elections in recent Canadian history. Although Harper tried to bring the issue forward in the context of foreign policy he instantly failed, as other more local problems arose in the national rhetoric. Harper has been known for his support of Israel, and many of Netanyahu's decisions, but will Trudeau follow suit?It is of course true that Trudeau has shown that he leans towards the state of Israel as he has made comments such as Canada and Israel have an “enduring bond of friendship, rooted in our shared commitment to peace and democracy."He has come out against the severely xenophobic BDS movement, calling it as something that is not in line with Canadian values, and in fact has called Hamas a terrorist organization. He told the CJN: "I'm all for freedom of speech and expression in Canada, and we need to be sure we're defending that. But when Canadian university students are feeling unsafe on their way to classes because of BDS or Israel Apartheid Week, that just goes against Canadian values."All of these are a start, but sometimes one wonders if a politician is not merely following a train of rhetoric that is expected in a political environment.Of course, support for Israel is not something eclectic amid Canadian society, as many individuals have condemned Israel and its people for decades, yet do not fool yourself most Canadians realize what the reality is: Israel and Canada have always been allies, and regardless of governmental policy, the majority of the people of the two nations will remain unified.Trudeau supports the Iranian nuclear deal, and in fact has stated that he wishes to re-engage in diplomatic ties with the country- an egregious theocracy. Still, that does not mean that ties will necessarily turn for the worse with Israel, but it might mean that an odd relationship will transpire not so different from how Obama treats Netanyahu’s government.Canada needs to stand by, in its international focus, with the people that have taken the Western values of classical liberalism, democracy and have made them a success amidst a sea of tyranny. The two nations are far closer in their historical ties, than most would believe.Yet we must realize that Harper’s own ties with his religious past is one of the reasons why his support for Israel was so adamant. In fact it must have been something undoubtedly personal for him, as his political stance was not that different from Canadian policies towards Israel in the past. In the election itself all of the leaders expressed support for Israel. Whether Trudeau’s Canada will stand through “fire and water,” with Israel it all remains to be seen.