Canada isolates itself (again this year) in multiple UN votes on Israel/Palestine

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Canada was one of only 7 countries defending Israel in the United Nations General Assembly last week. Canada voted with Israel, the USA and a handful of Pacific Island microstates to defend Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and opposing self determination for Palestinians. Read more…

When Prime Minister Trudeau was elected in 2015, he proudly announced “Canada is back” on the international scene. Many assumed that, among other things, Canada would take a more balanced attitude toward the Israel/Palestine issue, dropping Steven Harper’s aggressive insistence that Canada was Israel’s “best friend”. 

Based on Canada’s voting at the UN, however, they were mistaken. Under Trudeau, the Canadian government has continued to systematically vote against any UN resolutions critical of Israel, a policy that was actually initiated by the short-lived Paul Martin Liberal government.

Last week, six resolutions were presented for consideration by the General Assembly, ranging from reasserting that the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem are indeed illegal under international law, to supporting the Palestinian right to self determination.

They were all passed overwhelmingly. 

One of the resolutions condemned Israeli settlement activity and called upon it to withdraw to the pre-1967 line. This motion is similar to another one which was unanimously passed by the UN Security Council last December. At the time, former Canadian Ambassador to the UN Paul Heinbecker commented “the security council vote reflects what the world thinks.’

Heinbecker’s assessment was spectacularly confirmed last week, as 157 nations voted in favor of the text, seven opposed it and eight abstained.

Most of Canada’s allies, including all the European Union’s member states voted to support the resolution. 

Canada was one of only seven which opposed the resolution, along with the Israel, the USA, and a small coterie of tiny pacific Island states – Nauru, Micronesia, Marshal Islands, and the Solomon Islands.

Is Israel being unfairly “singled out” for condemnation?

Israel’s supporters often complain that these annual UN votes show that Israel is being “singled out”. 

But why is the UN “singling out Israel”?  As UN Secretary-General António Guterres put it: “The Question of Palestine is inextricably linked with the history of the United Nations and is one of the longest unresolved issues on the Organization’s agenda. Seventy years since the adoption of General Assembly Resolution 181, a sovereign and independent State of Palestine has yet to emerge alongside the State of Israel.”

While the rest of the world knows where Canada stands on the Israel/Palestine issue, the Trudeau government does not make much effort to tell Canadians how isolated we are.  Global Affairs Canada issued no press release commenting on, or justifying, our vote. Disappointingly, our isolation at the UN was not commented on by any mainstream Canadian media, including the Globe, Toronto Star or the CBC.


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  1. This shortsighted stance by Canada against the UN’s majority who condemn Israel for the many injustices perpetrated against the Palestinians for so many years, should surely end any hopes that the Canadian government might have for having a seat on the Security Council.

    1. Canada will have her seat in Security Council. Not that often but this time Canada behaves very courageously voting against immoral, unhistorical and biased resolutions related to the State of Israel. Yes, there is a saying – one is not a fighter in the field of number of foes. In this case it does not work. Canada will be proud about the solution it made today in favor of the only democratic state in the Middle East – Israel. Thank you Canada.

      1. Democratic?!!! On what planet are you living when all Israel does is apartheid and humiliation of a nation that once lived in peace for centuries with Christians Muslims and Jews lived in peace side by side in Palestine.

        Stop watching the Zionist run news channels, go to Palestine and see for yourself what your “democratic” occupation is doing to innocent women, children, elderly and peace loving Palestinians. Not to Telaviv to enjoy night life with your friends and Russian Immigrants who took the lands of innocent ppl and enjoy their homes as if they are their own… Only then, will you wake up and your conscience will show you the real truth about Evil Israel and and the terror of Zionism.

        Yet to hear from one person (from Australia to Brazil) who visits occupied Palestine and occupied terretories and remains sympathetic to Israel. Go and see the truth and learn that all the brainwashing you had been spoon fed by your Zionist schools and programs have nothing to do with the real truth.

        Peace and Independence to Palestine will prevail soon, supported by the educated, the independent, the conscientious, the moral and the human of every one of us around the globe. Not zionist money, not your selected media brainwash machines, and certainly not the blackmail of Netanyahu and Co. will make a dent in people true views and opinions.

        Justice will always prevail… then and only then, will you and your evil community get your chance to be forgiven for your Zionist propaganda, “beliefs”, ill mannered, selfish, chosen people rhetoric! And for the killings of thousands of peaceful Palestinians from every walk of life.

      2. If you think Israel is “the only democratic state in the Middle East”, while it’s undergoing apartheid; you’re looney tunes. Canada should vote against Israel, since Israel is so often acting against international laws or human rights.

  2. Shame on us! We continue to toe the U.S. line, making us look like the colony we sadly are (certainly economically!).

  3. I don’t see a problem with Canada dropping over 80 years of supporting imposing a solution on the people of Mandate Palestine which lacks the support of the respective population. On most issues the world has moved away from this sort of colonial thinking and supports allowing the parties involved to freely decide on a solution which they believe is in their best interests.

    There are many areas of the USA Canadian border that have been contentious over the centuries. The USA and Canada have a Boundary Commission that resolves disputes that has 0 UN or other foreign involvement. When there are arguments about Canadian or USA towns build to close to the border Turkey, Germany, Australia, Nigeria… don’t feel the need to get involved.

    1. Canada needs to get Palestinians to understand that Zionism was the protector of a multi-ethnic society in the Transjordan, where the smaller groups such as Druze, Baha’is and others as well as Jews, were allowed to discuss what kind of autonomous sovereign rights they would have post-independence in 1948. It was the Arab Higher Committee that refused to talk about these issues, forcing Israel to become armed and fierce in order to protect a pluralist form of society. If Canada could show some backbone, and get the Arab Palestinians to admit this historical record, then there would be the potential for sincere conversation between the PA and Israel.

      1. Alan, the 750,000 Palestinians forcibly displaced from their homes in villages, towns and cities by the dreadful Israeli army had nothing to do with the Arab Higher Committee. If you use the phrase “admit to the historical record” you need to apply it to the Israelis first and most of all. Zionist leaders, from Herzl and Ben-Gurion onwards, spoke – it’s now public record – long before the Arab Higher Committee was even formed, of needing to clear the land of Plaesine of Palestinians.

      2. Please spare us your nonsense.

        To be brief:

        Zionism is racism. Zionism is theft. Zionism is fascism. Zionism is doomed.

        Bottom line: Foreign Jews had the same right to Palestine as Irish Catholics and Mexican atheists, i.e., none whatsoever!!

      3. Once again when logic fails to deliver the appropriate excuse, self-blinded supporters of Israel reach back into a basket of lies stored away from eras past to deflect from the fresh facts on the ground.

        Canada’s auto-support of anything Israeli is so sad one has to begin to question our own government’s support for human rights even here in Canada.

        Can you imagine Canada announcing it will no longer work to improve the realities of our own First Nations because back a few generations ago FN leaders in Canada didn’t simply lay down and accept the edicts of new comers who treated them as inferior?

        The issue is human rights in 2017, not backstory fantasy.

    2. Hey CD – I see you are becoming a very regular contributor. There are not many countries in the world which were created based on a UN vote (Resn’ 181), part of which resolution was carried out and part of which was ignored. Turkey, Germany, Nigeria, etc. had nothing to do with where the 49th parallel went.

      In contrast, Canada bears a heavy responsibility for the plight of the Palestinians, because in 1947, when we didn’t want Jews to come here, we directed them to Palestine instead and hived off more than half of that mandate to give to European Jews. We would be a much better country today if instead we had welcomed those Jewish refugees.

      1. @Peter

        There are not many countries in the world which were created based on a UN vote .. Turkey, Germany, Nigeria, had nothing to do with where the 49th parallel went.


        True a few comments.

        1) I don’t think Israel was created based on a UN vote. It was created based on the hard work for several generations of a bunch of dreamers and fanatics who built a protostate and then won a war. The Irgun was far more responsible for the British leaving than the UN. I think giving the UN this sort of credit is demeaning to the work of the Yishuv, though I understand you didn’t mean it that way.

        2) The UN is relatively recent. If we broaden this to multicountry authorities: League of Nations, modern European Empires (British, French, Portuguese, Dutch…), Soviets, Papal decrees over Christendom, USA… then you are talking most countries in the world had backing from some sort of global authority at the time of their emergence. Israel is an interesting case because it has been so successful so quickly. But I see no reason to treat the UN as some sort of unique entity rather than just what happens to be playing that role now.

        3) Turkey, Germany, Nigeria, etc… had nothing to do with the border of Israel either. 181 never happened. The ’49 armistice lines emerged from a war and aren’t really close to the UN partition plan borders.

        In contrast, Canada bears a heavy responsibility for the plight of the Palestinians, because in 1947, when we didn’t want Jews to come here, we directed them to Palestine instead and hived off more than half of that mandate to give to European Jews. We would be a much better country today if instead we had welcomed those Jewish refugees.

        Certainly had Canada been willing to take in unlimited numbers of European Jews in the 1880s there never would have been a meaningful Zionist movement. Certainly if Canada had opened the borders in the early 1930s there wouldn’t have been a holocaust. But that applies to most of the countries in the world. Canadians in the 1940s while not approving of mass extermination didn’t want Jews. Were Israel to cease existing they still wouldn’t want them. But that applies to most other foreign people. I’m not sure how this makes Canada responsible. And moreover even if you were right, it seems odd to argue that you did wrong to Jews in the 1940s and thus you feel obligated to wrong them again in 2017. You are advocating against Jews not for them.

        But if you feel that way. Under UNHCR there are 51.2m refugees currently. Canada isn’t taking very many of those in. There is a Central African Civil War getting hotter again, You should consider whether you want to be responsible for the eventual result of it. Syria continues to produce refugees. And the partition of North and South Sudan is still troubled. There are problems that Canada could take on today like the Burma’s Karen minority who are evidently never going to be allowed to return and live in camps in Thailand.

        There is simply no shortage of other such problems. Jews were unique to European Christian civilization. But in our global world there is no shortage of similar problem.

  4. Tony Major, do not forget that 800.000 Jews were displaced from the Muslim countries they lived between 1947 and 1967. They lost everything their businesses, homes. Do Muslim countries acknowledge this fact?

    1. If Canada could help to get Palestinians to begin to understand that people of various ethnic backgrounds are not erring by working on a multi-ethnic society – where each group is valued and not dehumanized. Your point, Simon, about the Jews displaced from Arab countries is not a point that should be brushed aside. There is more than enough land for all the people in the Middle East – on one condition. That is that with partnership with Israel, the whole barren regions can be reclaimed and become an important part of a world strategy to re-foliate the areas that currently reflect heat to the upper atmosphere. The world does not have any more time to waste on allowing this problem to remain stalemated. The planet needs to have dark foliage in the desert areas – or the planet will not be able to cope with the factors of thermos-effect trapping of heat resulting in constant rising temperatures.

    2. Simon S


      To quote Yehouda Shenhav, of Iraqi Jewish heritage and professor of sociology and anthropology at Tel Aviv University: “Any reasonable person, Zionist or non-Zionist, must acknowledge that the analogy drawn between Palestinians and Mizrahi [Arab] Jews is unfounded. Palestinian refugees did not want to leave Palestine….Those who left did not do so of their own volition. In contrast, Jews from Arab lands came to this country under the initiative of the State of Israel and Jewish organizations.” (Ha’aretz, 8 October 2004.)

      (1) Avi Shlaim, born into an affluent and influential family in Baghdad: “We are not refugees, nobody expelled us from Iraq, nobody told us that we were unwanted. But we are the victims of the Israeli-Arab conflict.” (Ha’aretz, August 11, 2005)

      (2) The late Yisrael Yeshayahu, speaker of the Knesset: “We are not refugees…. We had messianic aspirations.”

      (3) Shlomo Hillel, former minister and speaker of the Knesset: “I don’t regard the departure of Jews from Arab lands as that of refugees. They came here because they wanted to, as Zionists.”

      (4) During a Knesset hearing into the matter, Ran Cohen, member of the Knesset: “I am not a refugee….I came at the behest of Zionism, due to the pull that this land exerts, and due to the idea of redemption. Nobody is going to define me as a refugee.”
      (Ha’aretz, October 8, 2004)

      BTW, unable to bear their circumstances and the blatant racism directed towards them by the Ashkenazi/white European Jewish establishment, about 5,000 Moroccan Jews promptly returned to Morocco after arriving in Israel in the late 1940s. In recent years thousands more have returned home and continue to do in order to live a meaningful, peaceful and prosperous life among their Arab/Muslim/Christian brothers and sisters. Morocco is benefitting greatly from their return.

      It should not be forgotten that after being rejected twice, Israel signed the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference Protocol and declared before the UN General Assembly at the same time that it would comply with UN Resolution 194 (which calls for the repatriation of and/or compensation for the then near 800,000 Palestinian refugees dispossessed and expelled before and during the 1948 war) as a precondition for gaining UN admittance (see UNGA Resolution 273, 11 May 1949.) Israel has since refused to comply with its pledge.

      Also, given its implications for Palestinian refugees who numbered well over one million following the IDF’s expulsion of a further about 25,000 before and during Israel’s first invasion of Egypt in 1956 (in collusion with Britain and Frane) and an additional approximately 250,000 during and after the war it launched on 5 June 1967, Israel is opposed to its citizens of Arab origin being referred to as “refugees.”

      Needless to say, any Jew of Arab origin who feels he or she has a legitimate grievance against an Arab country should pursue it through international law. For obvious reasons, Palestinian refugees would heartily welcome such an initiative. The bottom line, however, is that while Palestinians were brutally expelled from their homeland by Jewish militias and the IDF through armed might, several massacres, mass rape and intimidation, they played no role whatsoever in the emigration of or any ill treatment and or loss of assets that Jews of Arab origin experienced in their former homelands. The two cases are separate and distinct, i.e., apples and oranges.

    3. Hi Simon. First of all, there is more and more proof that Zionist leaders worked behind the scenes “encouraging” Arab governments of those lands to displace Jewish residents. Jewish historians have unearthed proof that Israeli agents threw bombs into synagogues to scare their own people into thinking there was pressure from Arab authorities to leave. (I know this sounds like secret agent stuff, but we all know Israelis from the beginning were and still are employing tactics like this – see case of U.S.S. Liberty for an example.) Secondly, and more importantly, if Arab countries displace Jewish people from their countries, what has that to do with the Palestinians living their lives in Palestine? Should Palestinians now pay not only for the European Holocaust but also for the expulsion of Jews from Arab lands? Thirdly and most importantly, Jewish people were expelled from those lands after Zionists made their ethnic cleansing policy all too clear in Palestine, and acted on it. Palestinian Arabs and Palestinian Jewish people lived in an admirable state of peace in Palestine for uncountable generations before Europeans arrived, and then later some Americans, who happened to be Jewish, and caused all – all – the problems from their detailed plan to cleanse a country of its majority indigenous population. Any other geopolitical jig about what who did to whom where and when is whistling in the wind.

      1. @Tony

        Palestinian Arabs and Palestinian Jewish people lived in an admirable state of peace in Palestine for uncountable generations before Europeans arrived

        This is nonsense. Jews in Palestine like Jews everywhere lived in conditions of deprivation and discrimination in Arab countries. They hated their life there and fled as soon as there was a viable option in Israel. The Mizrahi population of Israel most certainly does not share your view. In 1834 there was no Zionism. Yet in 1834 the there was a widespread massacre involving rape and looting of the population of Safed by Palestinians. That is certainly not indicative of an admirable peace for uncountable generation.

      2. CD-Host

        “Jews in Palestine like Jews everywhere lived in conditions of deprivation and discrimination in Arab countries.”


        Let’s consult some experts:

        Audio of lecture:
        “So, what did the Muslims do for the Jews? – How Islam Saved the Jews.”
        Lecture by Professor David J Wasserstein.

        David J Wasserstein is the Eugene Greener Jr. Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University. This article is adapted from last week’s [May, 2012] Jordan Lectures in Comparative Religion at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

        “Islam saved Jewry. This is an unpopular, discomforting claim in the modern world. But it is a historical truth. The argument for it is double. First, in 570 CE, when the Prophet Mohammad was born, the Jews and Judaism were on the way to oblivion. And second, the coming of Islam saved them, providing a new context in which they not only survived, but flourished, laying foundations for subsequent Jewish cultural prosperity – also in Christendom – through the medieval period into the modern world.

        “By the fourth century, Christianity had become the dominant religion in the Roman Empire. One aspect of this success was opposition to rival faiths, including Judaism, along with massive conversion of members of such faiths, sometimes by force, to Christianity. Much of our testimony about Jewish existence in the Roman Empire from this time on consists of accounts of conversions.

        “Great and permanent reductions in numbers through conversion, between the fourth and the seventh centuries, brought with them a gradual but relentless whittling away of the status, rights, social and economic existence, and religious and cultural life of Jews all over the Roman Empire.

        “A long series of enactments deprived Jewish people of their rights as citizens, prevented them from fulfilling their religious obligations, and excluded them from the society of their fellows.

        “Had Islam not come along, Jewry in the west would have declined to disappearance and Jewry in the east would have become just another oriental cult. This went along with the centuries-long military and political struggle with Persia. As a tiny element in the Christian world, the Jews should not have been affected much by this broad, political issue. Yet it affected them critically, because the Persian Empire at this time included Babylon – now Iraq – at the time home to the world’s greatest concentration of Jews.

        “Here also were the greatest centres of Jewish intellectual life. The most important single work of Jewish cultural creativity in over 3,000 years, apart from the Bible itself – the Talmud – came into being in Babylon. The struggle between Persia and Byzantium, in our period, led increasingly to a separation between Jews under Byzantine, Christian rule and Jews under Persian rule. Beyond all this, the Jews who lived under Christian rule seemed to have lost the knowledge of their own culturally specific languages – Hebrew and Aramaic – and to have taken on the use of Latin or Greek or other non-Jewish, local, languages. This in turn must have meant that they also lost access to the central literary works of Jewish culture – the Torah, Mishnah, poetry, midrash, even liturgy.”

        Rabbi Sassoon Kehdouri, Iraq’s Chief Rabbi for 48 years, speaking before the 1946 Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry on Palestine: “Iraqi Jews will be forever against Zionism. Jews and Arabs have enjoyed the same rights and privileges for a thousand years and do not regard themselves as a distinctive separate part of this nation.”

        Chaim Weizmann, Israel’s first president, also addressing the 1946 Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry: “I would not like to do any injustice. The Muslim world has treated the Jews with considerable tolerance. The Ottoman Empire [of which the Arabs were a major part] received the Jews with open arms when they were driven out of Spain and Europe, and the Jews should never forget that.”

        Albert Einstein, 1939: “There could be no greater calamity than a permanent discord between us and the Arab people…. Let us recall that in former times no people lived in greater friendship with us than the ancestors of these Arabs.”

        To quote Dr. Ella Habiba Shohat, Professor of Cultural Studies and Women’s Studies at the City University of New York (CUNY), a self described “Arab Jew” born in Israel of Iraqi ancestry now living in the United States:

        “Our history simply cannot be discussed in European Jewish terminology. As Iraqi Jews, while retaining a communal identity, we were generally well integrated and indigenous to the country, forming an inseparable part of its social and cultural life. Thoroughly Arabized, we used Arabic even in hymns and religious ceremonies. The liberal and secular trends of the 20th century engendered an even stronger association of Iraqi Jews and Arab culture, which brought Jews into an extremely active arena in public and cultural life. Prominent Jewish writers, poets and scholars played a vital role in Arab culture, distinguishing themselves in Arabic speaking theatre, in music, as singers, composers, and players of traditional instruments.”

        “In Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Tunisia, Jews became members of legislatures, of municipal councils, of the judiciary, and even occupied high economic positions. (The finance minister of Iraq in the ’40s was Ishak Sasson, and in Egypt, Jamas Sanua–higher positions, ironically, than those our community had generally achieved within the Jewish state until the
        1990s!)” (“Reflections by an Arab Jew” – http://www.bintjbeil. com/E/occupatio n/arab_jew.html )

        When Zionism, a 19th century European racist, colonialist ideology infected the entire region in and eventually led to the dispossession and expulsion of well over one million native Palestinian Muslims and Christians between late 1947 and 1967, relations between Arabs and Jews deteriorated. No surprise.

        Bearing in mind the above as well as the fact that both Caliph Omar, in 637, and Saladin, in 1187, liberated Jerusalem from brutal oppressors (i.e., Byzantine Christian zealots and the Crusaders) and invited the exiled Jews to return and practice their faith freely, it is easy to understand why Palestine’s indigenous Arab Jews were among Zionism’s most ardent opponents.

        To quote Chief Rabbi Menachem Froman, a champion of inter-religious reconciliation: “[E]very Jew who learns the writings of the great sages – who, at the head of them all stands Maimonides – knows that our great thinkers wrote in the Arabic language, lived in Islamic states and participated with the great Muslim thinkers in the effort to explain the words of God, according to the paths of the sages and amidst the difficult bloody battles that we have had since the beginning of Zionism with the Muslims.”

        “We know… that the war between the Jews and the Muslims is the work of the cursed devil. We know that Islam is named after peace.” (Haaretz, September 18, 2006)

  5. Thanks Peter for bringing to our attention that Canada has isolated itself from playing a role in mid East policy even more than ever by voting with the USA and Israel against these UNGA resolutions.

    Canada has isolated itself from the overwhelming support in the UN of a two state solution entailing Israeli withdrawal from ” occupied territories” and the creation of a viable and contiguous Palestinian state. Since these UNGA resolutions are consistent with what is essentially traditional Canadian policy on Israel and Palestine, Canada ludicrously is still isolating itself from its own stated Mideast policy.

    Harper was totally transparent about his unconditional support for Israel and total disregard and disparagement of traditional and stated Canadian mid East policy, condemning voiciferously any critics and shackling Global Affairs from playing any role in negotiations except for trying to totally undermine the Obama Kerry peace initiative and sinking Canada’s chances to get elected to the UNSC But Trudeau promised to get back in the game in the Middle East on which he has not yet fully delivered because of these continuing one sided votes. Indeed unlike his predecessors the Trudeau govt. has offered virtually no explanations of what Canadian mid East policy will be given voice or action nor any active support to a “two state sol’n.

    I had the privilege of working on these same resolutions in 1991/92 in Global affairs. PM Mulroney and FM Clark had a reasonably balanced and conventional approach to Israel and Palestine which continued through the Chretien years much to his pride in resisting special interests who wanted more firm positions on either side. Therefore, we offcials were able to consider these UNGA resolutions and make recommendations based on their consistency with Canadian policy and contributions to the peace process and aiming for votes that were consistent with the mainline position of the main European countries. Of course consideration had to be given to the pro Israel lobby as well as the much weaker Arab Palestinian positions, but credible balance could be maintained without too much fatal pushback. Canadian votes on these UNGA Israel/ Palestine in these years also ensured Canadian participation in the Madrid peace process as refugee gavel chair and helped FM. Axeworthy get Canada elected to the UNSC .

    All of this Canadian Mideast (non)action is coming at a complicated time when the Trump administration is threatening to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and/or move the US embassy to Jerusalem, therebye undermining its own peace initiative which the Trump team has yet to finalize and present. Normally, Canada could be playing a helpful if behind the scenes role in advising the USA on Canada’s own experience with an embassy move in 1978 and advisingt Israel and the Palestinians of the neccessity to reach a ” two state” solution now before this option.disappears. Other major countries in the G7 and G20 are certainly doing this from their points of view. Is Canada too cowed by Israel and its lobby and the US Trump administration to say anything at all. Let’s hope that this is not the case and that Canada will start playing a more helpful and open role on Israel Palestine cosistent with its longstanding policy.


    1. @George

      Maybe you should consider the possibility that people in other countries want to control their own fate just like Canadians do. Canadians would not welcome being dictated to about how they should related to the USA or Greenland from Nigeria. Similarly Canada’s policy on Israel / Palestine should be one of respect for the desires of the people who actually live there and not a leftwing neo-colonialism dictating to other people’s regardless of their desires.

      The Israelis are well aware that Canada considered a two state solution along the 1949 lines to be the best solution. That advice has been carefully considered, evaluated at length and rejected. And I should mention rejected because attempts at negotiating a reasonable implementation failed in ways that got thousands of Israelis killed and maimed. The Israelis in 2017 do not agree with your suggested policy, They are not ignorant. Nor are they stupid. They understand your suggestion, they fully understand your opinion. They simply disagree with it.

      The Israelis are the ones building the infrastructure for the settlements in the West Bank, The Israelis are the ones subsidizing the migration. This isn’t happening in the middle of the night being run as an intelligence operation it is the openly stated policy of virtually every party in the Knesset. Could it maybe be the case that rather than this being some accident they are unaware of it is deliberate policy because they don’t want to separate based on 1967 lines? Israel has every intention of burying the two state solution you support.

      I for the life of me can’t see why Canada’s position on this issue shouldn’t be one of indifference. The disposition of the West Bank is a matter of vital national interest to Israel. It is at best an issue of minor interest to Canada. But even if it were for some a vital national interest Canada has nowhere near the power to force Israel to relinquish lands that its people in large numbers have decided to permanently settle on and its government has from an economic, infrastructure, military, social and cultural basis fully incorporated and from a legal basis partially incorporated. In 1812 Canada fought a war to preserve Upper Canada from being taken by another country. Why do you think the Israelis love their country’s lands any less?

      If Canada can’t find enough problems at home to work there are plenty of conflicts where Canada could do wonders to help resolve the conflict. This isn’t one of them. The dominant party doesn’t agree

      1. CD-Host

        Israel is a member of the UN and as such it is bound to comply with the UN Charter, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute. It’s refusal to do so should have long since led to Israel’s expulsion from or suspension of its membership.


        The Palestinians and Arab states have long since attempted to end the conflict peacefully, but Israel has continued to illegally occupy East Jerusalem and the West Bank, brutally oppress and dispossess its indigenous Palestinian inhabitants and also maintain its illegal occupation of Syria’s Golan Heights and Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms/Kfarshuba. Nor should we forget that under international law, the Gaza Strip is still occupied by Israel.

        For the record:
        In 1988, the PLO recognized Israel as a sovereign state within the borders of the 1947 recommendatory only UNGA Partition Plan, Res. 181, which violated the terms of the British Class A Mandate for Palestine and the Atlantic Charter, was never adopted by the UNSC and was grossly unfair to the indigenous Palestinian Arab inhabitants.

        By signing the 1993 Oslo Accords, the PLO accepted UNSC Res. 242 and thereby agreed to recognize a sovereign Israel within the 1949 armistice lines, i.e., as of 4 June 1967 – 78% of mandate Palestine.

        The PLO also agreed to the US/EU/UN supported 2002 Arab League Beirut Summit Peace Initiative, which offers Israel full recognition as a sovereign state (per UNSC Res. 242, i.e., within its June 4/67 boundaries with possible minor, equal and mutually agreed land swaps), exchange of ambassadors, trade, tourism, etc., if Israel complies with international law (e.g., the UN Charter, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute.) Fully aware of Israel’s demographic concerns, the Beirut initiative does not demand the return of all Palestinian refugees. In accordance with Israel’s pledge given to the UNGA in 1949 and by signing the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference Protocol to abide by UNGA Res. 194 regarding the then 800,000 Palestinian refugees as a precondition for admittance to the UN (after being rejected twice), the Arab League’s Initiative “calls upon Israel to affirm” that it agrees to help pursue the “achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem…”

        In all likelihood, only a small percentage of Palestinian refugees would choose to return to what is now Israel, i.e., west of the green line. The reasons should be obvious. The vast majority, in accordance with UNGA Resolution 194, would choose sufficient financial compensation to enable them to build new lives and invest in an independent Palestinian state based on the 4 June 1967 borders or emigrate elsewhere.

        Along with all Arab states and the PLO, Hezbollah and Iran have also accepted the Arab League’s 2002 Beirut Summit Peace Initiative. (In its revised Charter, April, 2017, Hamas agreed to a Palestinian state based on the 4 June 1967 borders. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, Israel promptly rejected the Hamas overture instead of using it to open a dialogue.)
        Regrettably, then Israeli PM Ariel Sharon summarily dismissed the Arab League’s peace overture, as did Israel in 2008 and thereafter.

        For the record, other peace initiatives that Israeli governments have rebuffed include: U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers’ The Rogers Plan (1969); The Scranton Mission on behalf of President Nixon (1970); Egyptian President Sadat’s land for peace and mutual recognition proposal (1971); U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s call for a Geneva international conference (1977); Saudi Arabian King Fahd’s peace offer (1981); U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s Reagan Plan (1982); U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz’s Schultz Plan (1988); U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s Baker Plan (1989); and the previously noted 1993 Oslo accords signed by Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin that unravelled following the latter’s assassination and subsequent return to power of the Likud party from 1996-1999 under Benjamin Netanyahu; continuation of the Taba II negotiations (2001); the unofficial Geneva Peace Initiative of November/December 2003; and the 2014 Kerry Initiative.

        As for the much touted 2000 Camp David Summit, working in tandem, Barak and Clinton tried to shove a very bad deal down Arafat’s throat. It could only be rejected. Suffice to quote Shlomo Ben-Ami, then Israel’s foreign minister and lead negotiator at Camp David: “Camp David was not the missed opportunity for the Palestinians, and if I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David, as well.” (National Public Radio, 14 February 2006.)

        The “offer” made in 2008 by then Israeli PM Ehud Olmert was never seen as serious because it lacked cabinet approval, he was under indictment with only a few weeks left in office, had a 6% favorable rating, and, therefore, couldn’t have closed the deal, even if the Palestinians had accepted it. (Olmert was imprisoned.)

        Unfortunately, Israel’s response to every peace overture from the Palestinians and Arab states, has been an escalation of illegal settlement construction, dispossession and oppression in occupied Palestinian and other Arab lands.

  6. For those pro-Islamist and anti-Israel members on this board, consider that Canada, one of the most liberal and respected members of the world community, a bastion of Human Rights, humanitarian aid, and a tolerance idealist is siding with Israel against the rest of the world. Canada gains nothing by this.

    Perhaps it will get through your hard hearts that the world is wrong and international opinion is basically meaningless.

    1. Jack Frank Sigman

      For your much needed edification:

      The June 1967 War:
      At 7:45 AM on 5 June 1967, Israel attacked Egypt and thereby, Jordan and Syria who each shared a mutual defense pact with Egypt. The attack took place just hours before Egypt’s VP Mohieddine was to fly to Washington for a prearranged June 7th meeting with the Johnson administration to defuse the crisis between Egypt and Israel based on an agreement worked out in Cairo between Nasser and Johnson’s envoy, Robert Anderson. In a cable sent to Johnson on May 30, Israel’s PM Eshkol promised not to attack Egypt until June 11 to give diplomacy a chance to succeed. However, on June 4, when it heard about the June 7th meeting and the distinct possibility that it would rule out war, Israel’s cabinet ordered its armed forces to attack Egypt the next day. In short, the war was another massive land grab by Israel.

      Prime Minister Menachem Begin, former Minister without portfolio in PM Levi Eshkol’s cabinet, while addressing Israel’s National Defence College on 8 August 1982: “In June, 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.” (New York Times, 21 August 1982)

      Meir Amit, chief of Israel’s Mossad: “Egypt was not ready for a war and Nasser did not want a war.”

      Israeli Chief of Staff Rabin: “I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent into Sinai on 14 May would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.” (Le Monde, 25 February, 1968)

      Prime Minister Eshkol: “The Egyptian layout in the Sinai and the general military buildup there testified to a military defensive Egyptian set-up south of Israel.” (Yediot Aharonot, l8 October 1967)

      Robert McNamara, U.S. Secretary of Defence: “Three separate intelligence groups had looked carefully into the matter [and] it was our best judgment that a UAR attack was not imminent.” (The Vantage Point, Lyndon Johnson, p. 293)

      An article published in the New York Times (4 June 1967) just hours before Israel attacked notes that Major General Indar Jit Rikhye, Commander of UNEF in the Middle East, “who toured the Egyptian front, confirms that Egyptian troops were not poised for an offensive.”

      On May 26, in reply to Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban’s assertion that according to Israeli intelligence, “an Egyptian and Syrian attack is imminent,” Secretary of State Dean Rusk dismissed the claim and assured Eban that Israel faced no threat of attack from Egypt. On the same day, during a meeting at the Pentagon, Eban was also told by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and his aides that “…Egyptian forces were not in an aggressive posture and that Israel was not opening itself to peril by not attacking immediately. The contrary was true, Eban was told.” (Donald Neff, Warriors for Jerusalem, pp. 140-41)

      BTW, as the UN Emergency Force (UNEF) Commander, Major General Idar Jit Rikhye, revealed, Nasser was not enforcing the blockade of the Tiran straits: “[The Egyptian] navy had searched a couple of ships after the establishment of the blockade and thereafter relaxed its implementation.” (Norman Finkelstein, Image and Reality, p. 139)

      Furthermore: According to Patrick Seale, highly regarded historian and journalist, Israel had been meticulously preparing for another war against the Arabs since its 1956 invasion of Egypt: “In the decade since the Suez campaign Israel had built up forces that could move fast and hit hard: mobile armoured units able to cover long distances, mechanized infantry, heliborne and naval paratroopers for use behind enemy lines, and above all an air force of Mirage and Super-Mystere interceptors and Mystere fighter-bombers of unchallenged superiority. The main lesson Israel had learned from the [1956] Suez war was the importance of air dominance not only to neutralize Arab air forces but also for use as flying artillery against infantry and tanks.” (Patrick Seale, Asad…, p. 117)

      Ezer Weizman, former commander of Israel’s Air Force confirmed in his memoirs that Israel spent years meticulously planning the attack against Egypt: “For five years I had been talking of this operation, explaining it, hatching it, dreaming of it, manufacturing it link by link, training men to carry it out.” Recalling how he felt at 7:30 A.M. on 5 June 1967, Weizman wrote: “Now in a quarter of an hour, we would know if it was only a dream or whether it would come true….” (Donald Neff, Warriors for Jerusalem…, p. 202)

    2. Mr. Sigman.

      Several years ago, I met a woman who had written a book about reconciliation between Palestinians and Israel. Her conclusion? That reconciliation was impossible because Israel was unwilling to make the necessary compromises; and that therefore nothing could be done. “Why didn’t you call for a boycott or sanctions,” I asked. She replied, “How could I suggest boycotting Jews, after all they’ve been through?”

      I’m Jewish but I married into a very large, very liberal, Christian family. All of them grew up with “defence of the Jews” as a central part of their progressive identity. For them, anti-Semitism is the greatest sin imaginable. It goes against their deepest beliefs to be critical of Jews.

      This is why Canada “is siding with Israel against the rest of the world.” You’re (mostly) right that Canada gains nothing by this. But that support has nothing to do with Israel and everything to do with the Holocaust. Of course it’s not Canada “against the rest of the world.” The Holocaust explains why the countries of Europe will occasionally nag Israel but won’t actually do anything.

      So, Mr. Sigman, you should not take comfort in the fact that Canada — “one of the most liberal and respected members of the world community” — sides with Israel. It’s not about respect for Israel. It’s about the Holocaust. Which is why the Israel lobby will accuse critics of Israel of anti-Semitism and mentions the Holocaust and the Nazis at every opportunity. The lobby knows how to scratch a still-open wound.

      1. The issue is a bit larger than that, Arthur. I have urged everyone to look at the history of which side has wanted to protect the minorities in Palestine — the Baha’is, Druze, smaller sects. Was it the Palestinian Arab powers? No. It was the side allied with the Jewish Committee, historically.

        Does that Arab side have any interest in protecting the other victims of dehumanization and mass homicide in other areas of the Levant? The Yasidis for example? The Kurdish? Sorry to say, but Islam has been pretty quiet.

        The CURRENT on CBC Radio this morning had a good segment on the subject of “Complicity” as a wide spread social problem – as has been identified in the large numbers of people coming forward to name and condemn the significant number of men who have used their power in recent years to humiliate and sexually taunt people who are under their control. It would have been complicity in ignoring the self determination rights of minorities in Palestine had Canada said “We do not believe that the Jewish People should claim any sovereign rights in Palestine. Canada believes that the Jews and the smaller communities of other populations should just take whatever the Arab majority wants to dish out.” That is the net effect of the position of the anti-Zionists.

        Those who do not want to stand aside and allow dehumanization, that is documented, to go unquestioned, have to understand that the Palestinian Arab side has to understand that a fully multi-ethnic society that is accepting of religious differences is a fundamental goal in any future political dispensation in the region. That will require acknowledgement by Palestinian Arabs that the Jewish Committee was critical to protecting the idea of multi-cultural autonomy. Only when Palestinians comprehend – and can articulate – that they are willing to join the tradition of the Jewish Committee in this effort, they have to face the fact that their position of exclusionary denial of autonomous sovereign self determination by fellow ethnicities means that they have no common starting point from which actual discussions of any future problem-solving may become feasible. Humouring this attitude in Palestinian Arabs is highly counter-productive, and wastes precious time that the world does not have – it is essential that anti-Zionists begin to put this problem in the perspective of its being an impediment to environmental stewardship.

  7. Well, at least Canada has said it will not move its Embassy to Jerusalem. But here’s a thing: Carolina Landsmann, writing in Haaretz, suggests that the U.S. announce, at the same time, an embassy to Israel in West Jerusalem and an embassy to Palestine in East Jerusalem.
    Now that would be interesting.

  8. Now, unanonymously …

    Well, at least Canada has said it will not move its Embassy to Jerusalem.

    But here’s a thing: Carolina Landsmann, writing in Haaretz, suggests that the U.S. announce, at the same time, an embassy to Israel in West Jerusalem and an embassy to Palestine in East Jerusalem.

    Now that would be interesting.

  9. @David

    Israel is a member of the UN and as such it is bound to comply with the UN Charter, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute. It’s refusal to do so should have long since led to Israel’s expulsion from or suspension of its membership.

    I have no problem with that as long as it is applied equally. Article 4 we lose a a whole lot of states like Vietnam. So for example Article 9 & 10 of the Universal Declaration would expel countries that practice arbitrary arrest without the right to public trial which is about 1/2 the membership. Canada incidentally might have some problems with Article 10. Article 13 of course ironically specifically allows Israelis to travel and reside anywhere within their country and leave it. Which is precisely what you are objecting to later in this post. Etc…

    An unequally applied standard is just discrimination not a moral claim.

    I’m not sure why you keep reposting this list.

    By signing the 1993 Oslo Accords, the PLO accepted UNSC Res. 242 and thereby agreed to recognize a sovereign Israel within the 1949 armistice lines, i.e., as of 4 June 1967 – 78% of mandate Palestine.

    Recognized Israel as what? The partition plan called for an Arab and a Jewish state. The PLO to this day refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. They also call for right of return. So whatever recognition meant it didn’t mean a willingness to recognize Israel as a Jewish state they would live side by side in peace with as the Palestinian state. Moreover, see the previous thread where people were quite upset about an ethnic Palestinian not being able to move to Haifa. Neither side really accepts partition both were bullied into it by other international actors. I for one am quite happy that pretense is falling apart so a rational plan can develop rather than leaving the world stuck in the rut it has been in for 80 years of blame games as partition plans run up against reality.

    Along with all Arab states and the PLO, Hezbollah and Iran have also accepted the Arab League’s 2002 Beirut Summit Peace Initiative.

    This is an often repeated lie. I think I refuted it the last time you made this claim. If not I’d be happy to post a long list of statements by Iranian and Hezbollah leadership saying the exact opposite.

    Unfortunately, Israel’s response to every peace overture from the Palestinians and Arab states, has been an escalation of illegal settlement construction, dispossession and oppression in occupied Palestinian and other Arab lands.

    Obvious nonsense. Saudi Arabia and Egypt have made a peace overture by including Israel in an Arab military alliance and so far the Israeli response has been assistance and support including intelligence sharing and on at least a few occasions operational logistics. The fact that Israelis do not want to chop huge sections of their country off to give to a hostile foreign power is not remotely the same as an unwillingness to make peace.

    1. CD-Host

      To be brief:

      “The fact that Israelis do not want to chop huge sections of their country off…”

      Therein lies the root of the conflict. The West Bank, East Jerusalem, Syria’s Golan Heights, (and Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms/Kfarshuba hills) are NOT part of Israel. As the UNSC, the International Court of Justice, The Rome Statute of the World Court, the US State Department, even Theodor Meron, when asked in June 1967, by then Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol have declared, they are illegally occupied by Israel. (As is the Gaza Strip under international law, e.g., “collective punishment” per the Fourth Geneva Convention.)

      I remind you that Israel’s 1980 annexation of East Jerusalem was unanimously rejected by the UN Security Council in Resolution 476 (June 30, 1980): “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the Occupying Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

      On 17 December 1981, the UNSC unanimously passed Resolution 497, which declared Israel’s 14 December 1981 annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights “null and void.”

      To quote from UNSC Resolution 2334, Dec. 23/16:

      “1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;
      “2. Reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard;
      “3. Underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations;..”

      To repeat, there is no special provision in international law that enables Israel to violate it with impunity. Notably, Israel has not taken the matter to the World Court. Why? Because it has no case.

      1. @David

        Therein lies the root of the conflict. The West Bank, East Jerusalem, Syria’s Golan Heights, (and Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms/Kfarshuba hills) are NOT part of Israel.

        Let me just point out the hypocrisy in all this were you assert the UN as the source of truth in respect to Israel while totally disregarding their position that the Shebaa Farms are part of Syria and Lebanon has no claim to them. So guess that shows pretty clearly where you actually stand on the UN.

        As for the bulk of this, it is a bunch of statements that the UN agrees with itself. Of course the UN agrees with itself. No one is denying the UN’s position is the UN’s position. As for “illegally occupied” the UN has not said that, the BDS movement likes to say that.

        Notably, Israel has not taken the matter to the World Court. Why? Because it has no case.

        Of course it has no case before the World Court. The World Court is a court in the UN system.It is bound by UN interpretation of international law not by international law. It is in a sense a Catholic Court not Protestant. One of the great blessings that Israel has given Jews is they no longer need to stand before courts and defend themselves against papal decrees that Jews cannot own property and somehow try and figure out how not to lose all their property. If Israel were going to take it to a court they wouldn’t take it to the court of plaintiff against them.

        They would rather take it to a court that would honestly interpret international law. So for example a fair court would have to maintain consistent standards. I’ll use your example of the UN declaration of Human Rights which in the last post was all important. Under the declaration of Human Rights all people have the right to emigrate from their country and their country has no right to stop them. If the Golan is not part of Israel than those Israelis living there are simply exercise their right to emigrate to Syria. Those living in the West Bank are exercising their right to emigrate to Palestine. And by that interpretation of international law Israel cannot stop them.

        Of course under the UN system it is entirely impermissible for Israel not to stop them and to stop them thus Israel will always be guilty. The goal is to get the ruling of guilty not to have a set of laws that countries abide by.

  10. Sigh.


    Contrary to Israel’s contention, Shebaa Farms is not part of Syria. To quote former U.S. President Jimmy Carter: “Since 1924, Shebaa Farms had been treated as Lebanese territory, but Syria seized the area in the 1950s and retained control until Israel occupied the Farms – along with the Golan Heights – in 1967. The inhabitants and properties were Lebanese, and Lebanon has never accepted Syria’s control of the Farms. Although Syria has claimed the area in the past, Syrian officials now state that it is part of Lebanon. This position supports the Arab claim that Israel still occupies Lebanese territory.” (Jimmy Carter, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, Simon & Schuster, New York – London – Toronto – Sydney, 2006, pp. 98-99)

    During a visit to Shebaa in 2008, free-lance journalist Habib Battah was “assured” by its mayor “that the farmlands on the Israeli side of the [UN] observation post did indeed belong to Lebanon and that Shebaa farmers had produced nearly century-old land deed and tax documentation to prove it. The claim has been bolstered by Hebrew University researcher Asher Kaufman…” (Habib Battah, “Letter from Shebaa,” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December 2008, Vol. XXVII, No. 9, pp. 42-43)

  11. @CD-Host

    For the record:

    It was the Jebusite/Canaanites, ancestors of today’s Palestinians, who founded Jerusalem around 3000 BCE. (Palestinians and their ancestors have lived continuously between the River and the Sea for at least 15,000** years whereas the Hebrews are believed to have arrived about circa 1800 BCE.)

    Originally known as Jebus, the first recorded reference to it as “Rushalimum” (or “Urussalim”) appears in Egyptian Execration Texts of the nineteenth century BCE, nearly 800 years before it is alleged King David was born, i.e., thus far, no archaeological evidence, or more importantly, writings of contemporaneous civilizations, have been found that prove Solomon or David actually existed.

    To quote the renowned Jewish Israeli writer/columnist, Uri Avnery: “[David and Solomon’s] existence is disproved, inter alia, by their total absence from the voluminous correspondence of Egyptian rulers and spies in the Land of Canaan.” (“A Curious National Home,” by Uri Avnery, May 13/17 –
    (BTW, nor has any evidence been discovered that confirms the Jewish exodus from Egypt ever occurred.)

    Front. Genet., 21 June 2017 |

    The Origins of Ashkenaz, Ashkenazic Jews, and Yiddish

    Recent genetic samples from bones found in Palestine dating to the Epipaleolithic (20000-10500 BCE) showed remarkable resemblance to modern day Palestinians.

    “The non-Levantine origin of AJs [Ashkenazi Jews] is further supported by an ancient DNA analysis of six Natufians and a Levantine Neolithic (Lazaridis et al., 2016), some of the most likely Judaean progenitors (Finkelstein and Silberman, 2002; Frendo, 2004). In a principle component analysis (PCA), the ancient Levantines clustered predominantly with modern-day Palestinians and Bedouins and marginally overlapped with Arabian Jews, whereas AJs clustered away from Levantine individuals and adjacent to Neolithic Anatolians and Late Neolithic and Bronze Age Europeans.”

    “Overall, the combined results are in a strong agreement with the predictions of the Irano-Turko-Slavic hypothesis (Table 1) and rule out an ancient Levantine origin for AJs, which is predominant among modern-day Levantine populations (e.g., Bedouins and Palestinians). This is not surprising since Jews differed in cultural practices and norms (Sand, 2011) and tended to adopt local customs (Falk, 2006). Very little Palestinian Jewish culture survived outside of Palestine (Sand, 2009). For example, the folklore and folkways of the Jews in northern Europe is distinctly pre-Christian German (Patai, 1983) and Slavic in origin, which disappeared among the latter (Wexler, 1993, 2012).”

    Enough said.

    Bye, bye.

    1. @David

      It was the Jebusite/Canaanites, ancestors of today’s Palestinians,

      Oh now we get to total myth. So did these Jebusites also worship an Eastern Arabian Peninsula God and speak an Eastern Arabian Peninsula dialect like today’s Palestinians?

      Where do you get this stuff?

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