Three Canadian senators face criticism after the visit Israel and invite a right-wing politician to Canada.

President of the Senate George Furey joined the conservative Senate leader Don Plett and unconnected then. Patti LaBoucane-Benson on a trip to Israel this week.

They met with local officials including Amir Ohanathe speaker of the Israeli parliament, who announced that the senators had invited him to visit Canada.

Ohana has previously caused controversy by claiming in media interviews that Muslims are prone to “cultural homicidal lust”. As a former minister of public security, he changed Israel’s priority list for vaccination against covid-19 to exclude prisoners who are Palestinians.

Read more:

Israel strikes Gaza, rockets fired in wake of deadly West Bank raid

The advocacy group Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East criticized the senators for writing about the trip without mentioning human rights concerns and the Israeli government’s shift to right-wing politics.

The story continues below the ad

This year, Ottawa issued two statements raising concerns that Israel would take “punitive measures” such as banning the Palestinian flag, building illegal settlements and divisive judicial reform.

The defense group wants the senators to withdraw Ohana’s invitation and “suspend all partnerships with the government of Israel” until it complies with international law.

LaBoucane-Benson said the trio could not meet with Palestinian officials but said she had called for an immediate de-escalation of the recent violence and work for long-term peace.

“We worked with consular officials in an effort to hear different perspectives while dealing with logistical and security considerations,” she wrote in an email.

“We met with current and former Israeli lawmakers from various parties. Unfortunately, one Palestinian politician was unable to attend a scheduled meeting.”

Click to play the video:

Israel attacks Gaza after rocket fire, explosion caught on video

LaBoucane-Benson noted “alarming incidents of violence” in the West Bank in recent weeks, including during their visit, against both Palestinians and Israelis.

The story continues below the ad

“Those responsible for these egregious acts — on both sides — must be held accountable, and those whose comments incite further violence must be condemned and condemned,” she wrote.

Furey and Plett’s offices did not respond to requests for comment.

Shimon Fogel, director of the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said the Justice and Peace Group’s characterization of Ohana and the call to cut diplomatic ties amount to “ridiculous attempts at headlines” after 75 years of productive relations.

“Special governments come and go, but the core values ​​shared by our two democracies are deeply rooted and have stood the test of time,” he wrote.

“When differences arise, as they have any number of times over the years, both Canada and Israel have articulated their positions and expressed concerns constructively.”

He said Canada has taken the right approach in advocating a two-state solution, “including not singling out Israel” in its public statements.

© 2023 The Canadian Press