July 13, 2021

Minister Marc Garneau demonstrates support for civil society peacebuilding on a recent trip to the region

Last week, Canadian Foreign Minister, Marc Garneau, visited Israel and Palestine on an important trip that signaled Canadian support for civil society peacebuilders in the wake of May’s devastating violence.  

As part of his visit, Minister Garneau and newly appointed Canadian Ambassador to Israel Lisa Stadelbauer visited the Max Rayne Hand in Hand school in Jerusalem to learn more about the school’s bilingual approach to education. The Max Rayne campus is the country’s only kindergarten-to-matriculation Hand in Hand school and an example of what a true shared society can look like. Minister Garneau said he was “delighted to meet a group of Arab & Jewish Israeli second graders… who learn each other’s language and culture in the same classroom. Building bridges & mutual understanding between communities is the foundation for peace.” Afterward, a roundtable discussion was held with other ALLMEP members including EcoPeace Middle East, Abraham Initiatives, Merchavim, Siach Shalom, and Sikkuy, regarding issues facing those working for peace and equality. 

During his visit, Minister Garneau offered Canada’s condolences to the families who lost loved ones in the recent violence and underscored Canada’s concerns over the humanitarian impact of the war. This need is urgent in Gaza, where the Canadian government has recently announced urgently needed new funding, including food assistance, shelter, water, sanitation, and hygiene, as well as critical psychosocial support for the most vulnerable, including children. Minister Garneau reiterated Canada’s commitment to a process that can allow Palestinians and Israelis to live side-by-side in peace. 

In the wake of May’s escalation, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $25 million in aid, with $5 million aimed at the peacebuilding field, Canada’s largest-ever investment in this work. ALLMEP and our 150+ members thank Prime Minister Trudeau, Foreign Minister Garneau, and Development Minister Gould for their continued support for civil society and their commitment toward peace and equality for Israelis and Palestinians.