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‘Disgusted and...shocked’: Jewish support group denounces Trudeau government’s ‘hypocritical’ foreign policy as Canada calls for ceasefire in Gaza

Canada's vote for a 'sustainable ceasefire' at the UN, pushed by much public support, draws ire and criticism by some politicians and residents

‘Disgusted and...shocked’: Jewish support group denounces Trudeau government’s ‘hypocritical’ foreign policy as Canada calls for ceasefire in Gaza

A Jewish advocacy organisation is taking aim at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government, accusing them of hypocrisy, as Canada voted in favour of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas at the United Nations.

Canada joined Australia, New Zealand and 150 other nations in backing a non-binding resolution calling for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in the Middle East conflict that has claimed more than tens of thousands of Gazan lives since the events of Oct. 7.

​​“Since October 7, over 18,000 Palestinian civilians have been killed in Gaza, thousands of children are now orphans. Countless Palestinian civilians in Gaza are suffering without water, food, fuel or medicine and their homes have been reduced to rubble. We must recognize that what is unfolding before our eyes will only enhance the cycle of violence,” Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said during a presser Tuesday afternoon.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs expressed its dissatisfaction with the Canadian government’s latest stance on the issue and accused them of appearing to be “hypocritical” in their ever-shifting position on the matter.

“Canadian foreign policy shows itself to be hypocritical,” CIJA President and CEO Shimon Koffler Fogel said in a statement shared with Yahoo News Canada.

“We’re disgusted and frankly shocked that only hours after issuing a statement that a ceasefire would only be possible under the condition that Hamas release the hostages, stop its use of Palestinians as human shields, lay down its arms, and surrender its control of Gaza, Canada voted in support of a UN General Assembly resolution supporting a ceasefire.”

In the hours leading to the UN vote, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a joint statement with his Australian and New Zealand counterparts, calling for a “sustainable ceasefire” in the war between Israel and Hamas while also urging on an “immediate and unconditional release” of the Israeli hostages and for Hamas to “lay down its arms.”

The joint statement also marks the first time Trudeau used the term "ceasefire" in reference to the Israel-Hamas war as until then he called for a humanitarian pause in the conflict.

Related: Canadians scoff at PM Trudeau's calls for humanitarian pause instead of ceasefire

The CIJA chief pointed out how Canada initially reaffirmed “Israel's right to exist and defend itself” as it further denounced Hamas but then went on to support a resolution that, according to the Jewish support group, fails to hold Hamas accountable.

“Did anything change on the ground in the short hours between Canada’s statement and the scheduled UN vote? The answer is no. Hamas still holds more than 100 Israelis hostage. It is still using Palestinians as human shields. And it is still indiscriminately firing rockets at Israelis,” the statement read.

A total of 153 countries voted in favour of the resolution with 10 against, including the United States and 23 abstaining, including the United Kingdom.

Some Liberal party MPs are not in favour of their government’s latest position

Liberal MPs like former cabinet minister Marco Mendicino and Quebecer Anthony Housefather expressed their disagreement on X, formerly known as Twitter, while specifically stating calls for an unconditional ceasefire only jeopardise the safety of Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza.

“I do not support [the resolution's] call for Israel to agree to what is, effectively, an unconditional ceasefire. At present, that would only place in further jeopardy the safety and security of Israelis & Palestinians in Gaza," he wrote.

‘Our pressure is working,’ Canadians welcome government’s support for ceasefire

Many Canadians welcomed the Trudeau government’s push for a ceasefire, calling it a “positive step” in building “lasting peace” in the region.

“Today marks a positive step. We must continue working to achieve a permanent ceasefire & commit to build a better & lasting peace,” wrote Mississauga MP Iqra Khalid on X.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims, too, lauded the Trudeau government's vote in favour of a ceasefire, however, acknowledged that it was "late" to act.

"Today’s vote in calling for a ceasefire came late. But it was an important moment to finally stand on the right side of history from @JustinTrudeau and @melaniejoly. Over 70% of Canadians wanted to see a ceasefire. Canadians stand for peace," NCCM posted on X.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa that he made Canada’s position clear to his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, in a “long and detailed” phone call.

Trudeau did not use the term "ceasefire" in his brief exchange with reporters, according to CBC.