Treasure Trove: David Matlow on the special friendship between Canada and Israel

On July 1, 1967, Canada celebrated its centennial. To mark this special occasion, Israel issued this Canada-Israel Friendship state medal, the first time Israel honoured the national celebration of another country with a numismatic item. The medal features a stylized maple leaf, mounted upon a Star of David. A map of Canada appears on the reverse with the words “And Peace Without End” from Isaiah 9:6 in Hebrew, French and English.

The medal recognizes the strong friendship between Israel and Canada, cemented during Israel’s struggle for independence and debates in the United Nations. Canada, in 1967, had a sympathetic understanding of the pioneering character of Israel, as well as an appreciation of Israeli democracy.

Israel appointed its first diplomatic representative to Canada in May 1949. In January 2023, Israel’s Ambassador to Canada, Ronen Hoffman, resigned in protest over the Israeli government’s policies. The new Ambassador is career diplomat Iddo Moed.

Following the horrifying Hamas terrorist attack on Israel on Oct. 7,  in which over 600 Israelis were killed, a number of demonstrations supporting the attacks were held across Canada or are planned. Anyone who would participate in such a demonstration is celebrating the murder and kidnapping of innocent civilians, and are akin to someone who would celebrate the 9/11 terrorist attacks. These people do not share Canadian values.