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Friday, January 10

Beyond words!! Israel and the Canada's Harperites: Joined at the hip!
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Vivian Bercovici named Canada's new ambassador to Israel
Appointment comes as PM Harper's 1st trip to Israel approaches
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has announced Vivian Bercovici as Canada's new ambassador to Israel.
The Toronto lawyer is a former senior policy adviserto former Ontario Finance Minister Ernie Eves, as well as an outspoken critic of militant group Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Baird also served in the same Ontario provincial government as Eves.
Toronto lawyer Vivian Bercovici has been named Canada's new ambassador to Israel. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and a member of the CBC's board of directors. (CBC)
Bercovici is the first non-diplomat this Conservative government has appointed to Israel.

"This is not unusual... she is a lawyer with 24 years of experience. She's smart and capable and will be able to represent this government well," said Baird in a scrum after the announcement. He went on to point out that she will be the representative to Israel exclusively and not the Palestinian Authority.

Norman Spector and David Berger were both non-diplomats appointed to the post. Spector was appointed by the Mulroney government in 1992. Berger was appointed by the Chrétien Liberals in 1995.

"It won't be a huge shock to anyone that Canada is a strong supporter of Israel," Baird answered in response to a question about Bercovici's perceived bias against the Palestinian leadership.

As well as practising law, Bercovici is a contributor to the Toronto Star. Her opinion pieces usually deal with political issues in Israel and the Middle East.

"Hamas, the PA and just about every government in the Middle East make no secret of their collective ideological commitment to the total destruction of the state of Israel, which they regard as a blasphemous blight on the Arab and Muslim worlds," she wrote in an April 2013 column in the paper.
Critical of Obama
In those same articles, she has been critical of U.S. President Barack Obama's dealings in the region.
"Tehran. Munich. So many, in recent weeks, have remarked on this déjà vu moment in international geopolitics, when the dazed and confused take the lead in appeasing the aggressor. Iran is being feted and fawned over by many western leaders, led by U.S. President Barack Obama," read a December 2013 piece about the interim deal to restrict Iran's nuclear program.
Bercoviciis a partner at Dickinson Wright LLP, a leading U.S. law firm that claims a strong Canadian presence. 
In March, she was appointed to CBC/Radio-Canada Board of Directors for a five year term.
The announcement comes as Prime Minister Stephen Harper prepares to visit Israel for the first time later this month.The trip to the Middle East will be Harper's first official visit to the region.

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January 8, 2014

Pro-Israel non-diplomat appointed Canadian ambassador

http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/01/08/toronto-lawyer-vivian-bercovici-to-serve-as-canadas-next-ambassador-to-israel-in-latest-sign-of-ottawas-approach-to-middle-east/

TORONTO — Canada’s newly appointed ambassador to Israel has been an outspoken commentator on Middle East issues, writing in her newspaper columns that Palestinian leaders were the main obstacles to peace.
Vivian Bercovici, a Toronto lawyer who studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the London School of Economics, was appointed to the sensitive diplomatic post on Wednesday by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.

“Having lived in Israel and written extensively on the region, Ms. Bercovici has an excellent understanding of the challenges facing the country and deep insight into the opportunities provided by the strong links between our two countries,” the minister said.
The announcement comes as Prime Minister Stephen Harper is preparing his first visit to Israel and signals the Conservative government’s commitment to strengthening relations with the only true democracy in one of the world’s most troublesome regions.

In herToronto Star columns, Ms. Bercovici has taken the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to task for “their collective ideological commitment to the total destruction of the state of Israel, which they regard as a blasphemous blight on the Arab and Muslim worlds.”
She has also referred to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “respected” leader who “has enhanced national security, immeasurably,” while decrying the UN for allowing gross human rights violators like Iran and Egypt to repeatedly condemn Israel.

In September, she wrote about visiting Jerusalem and “the constant awareness of the fact that the status quo is unsustainable. Perhaps, in that, lies a second point of consensus in the Middle East: that there must be change in the Israeli-Palestinian imbalance.”

Under Mr. Harper, Canada has strengthened relations with Israel, defying pro-Palestinian campaigns that include the push for a boycott of the Jewish state. The diplomatic appointment is a firm signal that Mr. Harper will not stray from his current policy.

“The Harper government will continue to affirm our government’s unfailing support for Israel’s right to exist in peace and security, as well as the close and long-standing relationship that exists between both countries,” a Conservative source said.

“Under the leadership of the PM, this government will take principled positions in the international fight against anti-Semitism, raising awareness of the heinous crimes of the Holocaust, and for being a steadfast supporter of Israel and the Jewish people.”

A mother of two, Ms. Bercovici has been a lawyer for 24 years, most recently at Heenan Blaikie LLP in Toronto. A former journalist, she has also served on the board of CBC/Radio-Canada and the Canadian Journalism Foundation.

“I have had the opportunity to spend substantial time with Ambassador Bercovici and am most impressed with her knowledge and understanding of the region as well as the challenges confronting the Jewish state,” said Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
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