With the war in the Israel and Gaza displacing millions and creating refugees, Israel has secretly suggested that Canada could be the destination for a large portion of them. The Israeli Intelligence Ministry first floated the plan in a “concept paper” that argues Canada would be an ideal candidate for refugees because the country has such a “lenient” immigration policy.
The number under consideration – according to talk on Parliament Hill – is as high as 500,000.
Israel wants most of the refugees moved to Egypt.
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Marc Miller hasn't confirmed or denied the request but he strongly suggested this week that Canada would be quite prepared to accept the shipment of refugees.
After a news conference to discuss his 2024-2026 Immigration Levels Plan, a reporter asked Miller about the Israeli proposal. Miller did not dismiss either the question or the plan out of hand. Although he said he wasn't prepared to “speculate” on the advisability of accepting the refugees, he repeated Canada's commitment to accept refugees during times of crisis.
“We are open to those fleeing war. This is a war,” he said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has obviously not issued a gag order on discussing a proposal that would be consistent with previous statements and policies. He issued an infamous social media post on Jan. 28, 2017 that virtually invited anyone identifying as a refugee to come to Canada as their preferred destination.
“To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada.”
The document notes that the proposal “is liable to be complicated in terms of international legitimacy,” and. “In our assessment, fighting after the population is evacuated would lead to fewer civilian casualties compared to what could be expected if the population were to remain.”
The Palestinian Authority has rejected the idea.
“We are against transfer to any place, in any form, and we consider it a red line that we will not allow to be crossed,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said. “What happened in 1948 will not be allowed to happen again.”