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In Israel, the “eh” comes BEFORE Canada Day

Margaret Meagher Canadian Ambassador to Israel 1959

In Israel, sentences start with "eh." In Canada, they end with "eh." Could this explain why Israel proclaimed Canada day on March 30 instead of July 1?

"Canada Day" Proclaimed in Jerusalem; Law School Building Dedicated (March 30, 1959) JERUSALEM –

Today was "Canada Day" here, so proclaimed by Mayor Gershon Agron in honor of the dedication of the Hebrew University’s new law school building, built through contributions by Canadian Friends of the University.

A special delegation of Canadians here for the dedication ceremony included Canada’s Supreme Court Justice Ivan Cleveland Rand, and Allan Bronfman, president of the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University. A feature of the new building is a replica of a court room, for student use. The room is equipped with all court room paraphernalia, including bench, a dock for the "prisoner," and witness stands.

One explanation: July 1 was officially known as Dominion Day until 1982. But as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) points out:

July 1st was colloquially known as Canada Day for many years before Bill C-201 was passed. When Harold Herbert first brought the bill before Parliament, he noted that "[O]ne could very easily argue there is not much sense to bring forward this kind of bill today" because most Canadians, Canadian newspapers and the CBC already used the term Canada Day.

Apparently, JTA was hip with the lingo in 1978 when it reported on an anti-Semitic parade float at a "Canada Day" celebration in New Brunswick. But not in 1963, when describing anti-Semitic activity in Winnipeg following a drive-by taunting on Dominion Day. Sadly, back-to-back neo-Nazi rallies similarly marred Canada Day celebrations in 1989 and 1990.

For the most part, however, Jewish Canucks have much to celebrate on Canada Day, particularly the many Jewish individuals who have been inducted into the Order of Canada on July 1 — or the British Empire, as was the case in 1946.

[Photo: Margaret Meager, Canadian Ambassador to Israel with Israeli President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi in 1959, via Wikimedia Commons]

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