The Canadian Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus (CPIAC) hosted a Jerusalem Day event in the parliament for the first time in Canadian history to celebrate the 56th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. Members of the caucus from a diverse range of political parties joined Jewish and Christian leaders in the parliament for this event.
Jerusalem Day, also known as Yom Yerushalayim, is an Israeli national holiday that commemorates the “reunification” of East Jerusalem with West Jerusalem following the Six-Day War of 1967. It is celebrated annually on 28 Iyar on the Hebrew calendar and is marked officially throughout Israel with state ceremonies and memorial services.
A notable celebration that marks the holiday is a flag-flying parade known as the Dance of Flags. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel declared Jerusalem Day to be a minor religious holiday, as it marks the regaining for Jewish people of access to the Western Wall.
Chair of the caucus, MP Dr. Leslyn Lewis, spoke about the importance of the ties between Canada and Israel. “Canada has a long and rich history of supporting and standing up for Israel. At a time when antisemitism is on the rise, it is critical that Canadian parliamentarians, faith and Jewish community leaders stand together in their steadfast support of Israel. This year marks 75 years of Israeli independence and another year of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel."
"Israel is a symbol of freedom, resilience and hope to millions who wish to see the peaceful coexistence of all peoples in Israel. On this 75th anniversary, Canadians join in celebration of this legacy of freedom, hope and peace” said Lewis.
Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli highlighted the importance of multi-partisan structure of the caucus. “I look forward to celebrating Jerusalem Day in the Canadian Parliament with a broad range of political representatives. Through our diversity, we all share a common language in supporting Israel as the capital of the Jewish state” he said.
The celebrations continued on June 1st at the Canada Christian College with a cultural celebration of Jerusalem in the presence of 1,000 Jewish and Christian leaders.
Dr. Josh Reinstein, who serves as President of the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) which oversees 52 parliamentary caucuses worldwide, noted that “The reunification of Jerusalem was celebrated this year in the US and Guatemalan Congress, the Canadian Parliament and next week in the Czech Republic Senate all due to the diligent efforts of the Israel Allies Caucuses there. Faith-based diplomacy in support for Israel is our most effective diplomatic tool, ” he said.
The Israel Allies Foundation was founded in 2007 to promote communication between parliamentarians and legislators around the world who share a belief that the State of Israel has the right to exist in peace within secure borders. Today, the IAF coordinates the activities of 52 Israel Allies Caucuses around the world, including the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, the EU Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus and the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus.