TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 20, 2014) - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) applauds Prime Minister Harper's address to the Israeli Knesset this afternoon and praises the Canadian government's support for Israel and for the values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law shared by the two countries, as well as his clear assessment of the dangers facing both Israel and Jewish communities today.

Noting that "Canada and Israel are the greatest of friends and most natural of allies," the Prime Minister offered a strong defense of the Jewish state, stating "It is right to support Israel because - after generations of persecution, the Jewish people deserve to live safely and securely in their homeland. Canada supports Israel fundamentally because it is right to do so. This by the way is a very Canadian trait - to do something just because it is right. . . It is just a Canadian tradition to stand for what is principled and just."

"I cannot overstate how proud I am and what a great honour it is for FSWC to be a part of the Canadian delegation travelling with the Prime Minister, who has shown that he understands at a very basic level the perils and threats Israel faces every single day, as well as the rising levels of antisemitism Jews around the world experience," said Avi Benlolo, President and CEO of FSWC.

"He clearly comprehends the shameful discrimination upon which the 'Israeli apartheid' narrative is based and FSWC, along with the broader Canadian Jewish community, is immensely proud of the friendship and support shown by the Canadian people for Israel, and for the right of the Jewish people to live in freedom and security in their native homeland."

About Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC)

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is a leading Canadian non-profit human rights foundation directly representing over 30,000 members. FSWC is committed to countering racism and antisemitism and to promoting the principles of tolerance, social justice and Canadian democratic values through advocacy and educational programs including workshops, Freedom Day, Spirit of Hope Benefit, Tools for Tolerance and its widely acclaimed new Tour for Humanity. FSWC is affiliated with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization headquartered in Los Angeles, which has won two Academy Awards, has built two Museums of Tolerance (with a third being built in Jerusalem) and is an NGO at the United Nations, UNESCO, OAS, OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament. Visit us at

Contact Information:

Media Contact
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies
Stacey Starkman
Communications Manager
416.864.9735 x 32