Freeland affirms 'ironclad' support of Israel following Pittsburgh murders

Canada's rejection of Jewish refugees before the Holocaust was shameful, but Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told Israel that it is an ``ironclad'' ally against anti-Semitism especially after the Pittsburgh synagogue murders.

Freeland evoked the sweep of Canada's modern history with the Jewish people during an address today before the Israel Council on Foreign Relations on her first trip to the Middle East.

Freeland's speech appeared aimed at some Israeli pundits who are questioning whether Canada's support of Israel has waned under the current Liberal government following the full-throated friendship expressed by the previous Stephen Harper Conservatives.

She reminded her Israeli audience that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will apologize next Wednesday for Canada's 1939 decision to reject an asylum request from more than 900 Jews aboard the MS St. Louis ocean liner.

More than 250 of them would later be murdered in Nazi Germany.

Freeland reminded her audience that Canada was one of the first countries to recognize and support Israel's emergence as a nation after the Second World War.