Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the people of Israel on the 60th anniversary of the founding of their nation.
We are proud that at the United Nations in 1947 Canada was one of the 33 countries that voted in favour of the creation of the Jewish homeland. We are also proud of the friendship that has continued to grow between us. The signing of a free trade agreement between our nations in 1996 has brought us closer still.
Of course, while the nation of Israel is relatively young, the land of Israel, which I have seen personally, is a place of incredibly vibrant history and heritage going back millennia.
As we celebrate the birth and success of this important democracy, we also join in celebrating the rich spiritual inheritance that Israel has granted the believers of many faiths. Shalom.