Israel’s Diaspora minister visited Canada for the first time to meet lawmakers, Jewish leaders—and evangelical Christians

Israel's Minister of Diaspora Affairs and Combatting Antisemitism, Amichai Chikli, marked Jerusalem Day and Israel's 75th birthday during a meeting on Parliament Hill with mainly Christian MPs in the Israel Allies Caucus, led by chair Leslyn Lewis, a Conservative MP, on May 31, 2023. (Photo by Bernard Thibodeau)

Amichai Chikli, Israel’s new Minister for Diaspora Affairs and Combatting Antisemitism, just wrapped up a four-day visit to Canada. And while he met Jewish leaders in Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa—briefing them on Israel’s new $53-million Alef Bet project to invest in Jewish day school education in North America—his trip also raised some eyebrows because of who else he came to see.

Chikli was the keynote speaker at celebrations for Israel’s 75th birthday and Jerusalem Day. Both were arranged by an Israeli-based outfit known as the Israel Allies Foundation, which uses faith-based diplomacy in dozens of countries to curry political support for Israel among Christian politicians. On Wednesday, Chikli was on Parliament Hill at the invitation of Leslyn Lewis, an Ontario Conservative MP who heads a mainly Christian group called Israel Allies Caucus. And on Thursday evening, Chikli headlined a gala reception at the Canada Christian College in Whitby, Ont., at the invitation of their leader, Charles McVety, a socially conservative evangelical pastor.

But Chikli tells The CJN Daily that Israel welcomes support from evangelical Christians who believe in the Bible, just like Lord Balfour, General Orde Wingate and others who helped found the Jewish State. You’ll hear from Chikli on today’s episode, plus we’re joined by McVety and Ya’ara Saks, a Liberal MP for York Centre, who met with the minister in Ottawa.

What we talked about

  • Charles McVety on why evangelicals love Israel and the Jewish people, in The CJN from 2017
  • Jews and Christians show support for Jewish victims of Hamas war with Israel, in The CJN from 2014
  • Hear our interview with Nachman Shai, the previous Diaspora minister under Naftali Bennett’s government, on The CJN Daily from 2022


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here.