Mr. Harper and his government have repeatedly asserted that they are fast friends of Israel, and have little time for or interest in the issue of human rights for the Palestinians.
However, official Canadian policy claims to support human rights for Palestinians and proposes a “2 state” solution, with safe and secure borders for Israel and “self determination for the Palestinians”.(http://www.international.gc.ca/name-anmo/peace_process-processus_paix/canadian_policy-politique_canadienne.aspxmainstream)
This is also the official position of most of the opposition parties in Canada, and of several religious organizations. It is the international diplomatic consensus (US, EU, Arab League, etc.) as well as that of the PLO. In Canada it has the support of some Jewish “peace” organizations, like Canadian Friends of Peace Now (CFPN). Most Canadians who have given any thought to the issue see his as the “fair” solution – giving a state and security to each of the two peoples.
On the other hand, within the very small “activist” community (in Canada and abroad), there is little support for the idea of a 2 state solution. The grounds for opposition include (1) whether it is still even possible, given the enormous expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, (2) whether a new Palestinian state in the West Bank could ever be more than a bigger “Gaza”, (3) whether it would resolve the issue of the refugees, or of the status of non-Jews living inside the Jewish State of Israel.
As a result, the activist community faces a dilemma.
One option is to ally with the larger mainstream groups who support the 2 state solution, and try to make it actually happen. In Canada, that would mean to try to isolate the Canadian government for not taking any steps toward implementing what it claims is its official policy. This could be done in the belief that even if a 2 state solution won’t work, or won’t solve all the issues, it would be a step forward, and in any event would help bring the issue to the Canadian public and bring pressure on the Canadian Government to change its position toward a more balanced policy.
The other option is to stick firmly to what appears to be a more principled position by continuing to show the weaknesses inherent in a 2 state solution. This option puts the activists into a critical stance, not only toward the government, but also toward all those more mainstream organizations which want to see progress on this file.
Which way forward?