Israel has reportedly suggested Canada as a potential destination for a significant number of refugees resulting from the conflict in Israel and Gaza. The Israeli Intelligence Ministry introduced this plan in a “concept paper,” emphasizing Canada’s “lenient” immigration policy as a compelling reason for considering it as a refugee host.
The estimated number of refugees that Canada might potentially accept, as discussed on Parliament Hill, could be as high as 500,000. Israel’s preference is to have most of the refugees relocated to Egypt.
While Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Marc Miller has not officially confirmed or denied the proposal, he hinted that Canada is open to the idea. During a news conference about his 2024-2026 Immigration Levels Plan, Miller expressed Canada’s commitment to accepting refugees during times of crisis, characterizing the conflict as a war and emphasizing Canada’s openness to those fleeing such conditions.
Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has previously signaled a welcoming stance toward refugees, as seen in a notable social media post from January 2017, inviting refugees regardless of their faith and asserting that diversity is a source of strength.
The proposal acknowledges the potential complexities surrounding its international legitimacy. It also highlights Israel’s belief that evacuating the population from the conflict zone could lead to fewer civilian casualties compared to the alternative of keeping the population within the affected areas.
The Palestinian Authority has rejected this proposal, making it clear that they oppose any form of population transfer and consider it a red line that they will not allow to be crossed, referring to the events of 1948 and the displacement of Palestinians during that time.