(JNS.org) Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, known for his staunch support of Israel, was voted out of office in the country’s election on Monday. Harper’s replacement will be Justin Trudeau of the Liberal party, which won 185 seats—a sufficient number to form a majority government.
Harper and his Conservative party government have frequently been outspoken in their support for Israel. Canada signed a "memorandum of understanding" with Israeli authorities earlier this year that commits to fighting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
In a January 2014 speech at the Israeli Knesset, Harper said Canada would stand by Israel ‘‘through fire and water.”
“Canada supports Israel because it is right to do so. This is a very Canadian trait, to do something for no reason other than it is right even when no immediate reward for, or threat to, ourselves is evident,” Harper said at the time, adding, “Support today for the Jewish state of Israel is more than a moral imperative. It is also of strategic importance, also a matter of our own long-term interest.”
During Harper's tenure, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Israelis believe the Jewish state has “no better friend than Canada.”
"Canadians have chosen a Liberal government, a result that we accept without hesitation. I spoke with Mr. Trudeau and gave my blessing to him and the blessing of all of us to his successful campaign,” Harper said in his concession speech.