Canada names partisan as new Israel ambassador

Vivian Bercovici, Canada's Ambassador to Israel

On the eve of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s first-ever visit to Israel, Canada has named a new ambassador to that country whose appointment is sure to please Harper’s hosts.

The new ambassador to Israel, Toronto lawyer Vivian Bercovici (above), has had a monthly column in The Toronto Star that would please most small-c conservatives anywhere when it comes to her positions on Israel and the Middle East.

“My interest in Israel and the region goes back a long way,” Bercovici told reporters. Bercovici, who is Jewish, studied at York University and at the University of Toronto but she also spent two years at Hebrew University in Jerusalem in the early 1980s. “Now is a very important time in the region, as important as ever and I’m very honoured to be appointed to take on this role. I know that this government’s principled stands on various fronts is warmly welcomed and appreciated by both the Israeli government and the Israeli people. “

In her newspaper columns, Bercovici, has said U.S. President Barack Obama has been “weak” on the Middle East while he “feted and fawned” over Iran. And if Bercovici finds herself on the diplomatic cocktail circuit in Tel Aviv, she will be meeting diplomats from the U.S., Britain, France and other Western governments who, she wrote last year, “hold on to a misguided fantasy of the Middle East.”

Bercovici has also praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling him “respected as a leader who has enhanced national security, immeasurably.” And, in September 2012, she compared her new boss, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, to Winston Churchill after Baird severed diplomatic ties with Iran. “Baird chose the path of principle, one that too many leaders forego,” she wrote.

Baird rejected the suggestion that her appointment is too partisan in favour of the Israelis and against the Palestinian Authority.
“I think it won’t be a huge shock to anyone that Canada is a strong supporter of the state of Israel,” Baird told reporters after announcing Bercovici’s appointment. “That won’t be news or a surprise to anyone. We have been a strong supporter of the only liberal democracy in the region. “We have a good relationship with the Palestinian authority,” Baird said. “The state of our relationship with the Arab world is strong and getting stronger every day.”

Harper is to spend a week travelling through Israel, Jordan and the West Bank at the end of this month. Bercovici, whose appointment is effective immediately, is expected to be part of the huge 173-person delegation accompanying the PM on his Middle East trip.

“Canada supports Israel’s right to exist in peace and security. Canada stands firm in the international fight against anti-semitism including raising awareness of the Holocaust,” Bercovici said. “And Canada recognizes the importance of building inclusive and stable societies underpinned by democracy, freedom and human rights and the rule of law.”

Bercovici had been a partner of the law firm Dickinson Wright LLP and had also been appointed by the Harper government to the board of directors of the CBC.

5 thoughts on “Canada names partisan as new Israel ambassador”

  1. So this is diplomacy,what ever happenend to Canada and our ability to hold the middle ground. By going this route Harper and Baird have just set us back 50 years. Mr.Harper you will never be Lester.B.Pearson. Oh,thats right, that was never your intention.

  2. These partisans of Israel are the direct cause of anti-Semitism. How can you have peace when they capture the political systems of western countries and use these offices to ride high hog on Palestinians?

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