Canadian lawmaker Erin O’Toole said on Wednesday that he would move his country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem if he were elected the next prime minister.
“Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people, and the modern presence there just cements this. The Knesset, the Supreme Court and Foreign Ministry are all in west Jerusalem,” O’Toole said in a video posted on Facebook.
O’Toole, a member of Canada’s Conservative Party, also said he would expand relations with Israel. He said that former Prime Minister Stephen Harper was a strong supporter, but that relations with the Jewish state have “weakened and wavered” under current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Canada and Israel have strong, multidimensional bilateral relations, marked by existing political, economic, social and cultural ties. Support for Israel, especially for the nation’s right to live in peace and security with its neighbors, has been at the core of Canada’s Middle East policy since 1948.
Trudeau has, however, cautioned about the imminent extension of Israeli sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria, more commonly referred to as the West Bank. Canada also voted against what was seen as a policy unfavorable to Israel—and what Trudeau explained was support for the two-state solution with the Palestinians—at the United Nations in December.
O’Toole tweeted back in February: “Canada needs to stand with Israel again, as we did under Stephen Harper. It’s time to recognize the reality that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and move our embassy there.”
He also said: “I stand with Israel. Yesterday, today and always.”