Canadian Policy on Key Issues in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Under the Harper Government, on November 29, 2012 Canada was one of only nine countries to vote against ‘symbolic’ Palestinian statehood.

On November 8th, 2016, Canada’s new Trudeau Government was one of just 6 countries to vote against the 1949 Geneva Conventions applying to Occupied Palestine
UNWAtch: Today: UN condemned Israel 10 times

The Government of Canada’s own website says:

Canadian Policy on Key Issues in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Support for the Palestinians

Canada recognizes the Palestinian right to self-determination and supports the creation of a sovereign, independent, viable, democratic and territorially contiguous Palestinian state, as part of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace settlement.

Canada recognizes the Palestinian Authority (PA) as the governmental entity in the West Bank and Gaza. Canada also recognizes the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the principal representative of the Palestinian people Canada continues to support Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and is working with the government led by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in terms of much needed reform.

Working with its partners and through the United Nations, its agencies and other organizations, Canada continues to support and respond to the humanitarian and development needs of the Palestinian people. At the Paris Donors Conference in December 2007, Canada announced a commitment of $300 million over 5 years towards improving Palestinian security, governance and prosperity.

Canadian Policy on Key Issues in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Occupied Territories and Settlements

Canada does not recognize permanent Israeli control over territories occupied in 1967 (the Golan Heights, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip). The Fourth Geneva Convention applies in the occupied territories and establishes Israel’s obligations as an occupying power, in particular with respect to the humane treatment of the inhabitants of the occupied territories. As referred to in UN Security Council Resolutions 446 and 465, Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The settlements also constitute a serious obstacle to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.

Canada believes that both Israel and the Palestinian Authority must fully respect international human rights and humanitarian law which is key to ensuring the protection of civilians, and can contribute to the creation of a climate conducive to achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement.

The Canadian Government speaks for Canada.  As a part of the International Community, a member of the UN, as a high contracting signatory of the Geneva Conventions, Canada has the duty to stay within International Law, but to hold other nations to account when they fail to do so.

When Canada fails to live up to its obligations, it falls to Canada’s opposition parties to hold the government of the day to account.  And yet, in spite of Canada’s published policy on Isreal and Palestine, we have Mr. Trudeau’s Liberal government policy to be indistinguishable from Mr. Harper’s Conservative Government.  Compounding matters, the NDP under Tom Mulcair seems to have the very same policy objectives.

Unlike these three parties, the Green Party of Canada has taken a different view.  A view in tune with Canada’s published policy and with International Law.

The Green Party of Canada adopted the Palestinian Self-Determination and the Movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions resolution at its August 2016 Policy Convention. In December a more comprehensive consensus resolution was put forward by the GPC Shadow Cabinet and adopted by a strong majority (85%) at a Special General meeting in Calgary. Assuming this resolution is ratified, it will replace the August resolution; if not, the original will stand as GPC policy.

Although there it took some negotiation to bring it to a vote, on Friday December 23rd, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2334

@UN tweets

President elect Donald Trump was less than pleased; perhaps he expects to be able to overturn the resolution after his inauguration. (It doesn’t work that way.)  And it seems former Prime Minister Stephen Harper continues to oppose the established Canadian policy of conforming to International Law, and actually tweeted in support of the American President Elect.

@StephenHarper tweets Thank you President-elect @realDonaldTrump for being a principled voice on Israel at the #UN

My hope for the new year is a proper peace between Israel and Palestine.

The resolution adopted this afternoon is pro-Israel in the deepest sense of the term, supporting Israel’s existence and security, and standing against those who would sacrifice both at the altar of settlements, for an ideological, expansionist agenda.

This resolution reiterates international consensus, grounded in previous Security Council resolutions and international law, dating back nearly five decades, regarding the illegitimacy of settlements and rejecting settlement-related policies of successive Israeli governments.

APN commends the Obama Administration’s decision to stand with all past U.S. president since 1967 in maintaining U.S. opposition to settlements, and to reaffirm longstanding U.S. positioning and language in the Security Council on this issue.

— Americans for Peace Now (APN) Welcomes UNSC Vote on Israeli-Palestinian Peace

peace_dove
Peace on earth, good will toward men.

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