Canada’s new arms embargo on Israel raises immediate concerns

In response to Canada’s recent decision to halt defense exports to Israel over concerns about human rights violations in Gaza, the Defense Industries Association of Canada is expressing confusion and seeking clarification from the government. Officials from the industry are concerned that Israel is a significant export destination for Canadian defense products, and they need clear information about changes in export policy to ensure compliance with new regulations.

In 2022, Israel was the second-largest export destination for Canadian defense products, according to government data. The country issued 315 export permits to Israel for defense products and technologies, totaling approximately 21 million Canadian dollars. During the Iron Swords War, almost 28.5 million Canadian dollars worth of exports went to Israel in the first two months of the conflict.

Other nations like Italy have also announced halts to defense exports to Israel despite close diplomatic ties. While Germany has raised concerns about the situation in Gaza, it has not taken concrete actions against Israel. The majority of Israel’s defense imports come from the United States, with substantial aid packages and joint development projects boosting their military capabilities.

As global dynamics shift and questions arise about the future of defense exports and relationships between nations, smaller exporters like Canada are navigating complex policy changes. While major suppliers like the USA continue to support Israel, smaller exporters must find ways to adapt and comply with changing regulations while maintaining their business relationships with their Israeli partners.

By Samantha Johnson

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