Canada has sanctions on 19 countries, notes organizer of symposium on international law, but not on Israel

Members of the United Nations Security Council vote on an Egyptian-drafted resolution regarding recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem, during a meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including Palestine, at U.N. Headquarters in New York

Canada would like to join the UN Security Council, one of the most prestigious and exclusive clubs in the world. To show that it is “back in the game”, Canada has followed UN recommendations to put sanctions on 19 countries. But one particular country seem to continuously avoid our notice, even though it is in breach of many UN resolutions. Read more…

Canada currently applies sanctions against a total of 19 countries. According to the Global Affairs Canada website, “Canadian sanctions are imposed under the United Nations Act (UNA), the Special Economic Measures Act (SEMA) or the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (JVCFOA).”\


Source: Global Affairs Canada website

Notwithstanding our firm determination to uphold international law however,  a singular absence was recently brought to light by David Kattenburg, in a recent Facebook post.  Israel – which somehow escapes Canada’s list of sanctioned countries.

“Although Canada formally acknowledges that Jewish settlements are illegal under the 4th Geneva Convention (…), and (… } therefore subject to criminal prosecution in Canada”, notes Kattenburg,Israel is definitely singled out for special treatment.”

Kattenburg is the main organizer of an upcoming symposium in Winnipeg on September 7 – 9 which will focus on Israel/Palestine and international law. Confirmed speakers include lawyers Dimitri Lascaris, Chair of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East and Michael Lynk, UN special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian Territories and US Professor Virginia Tilley,


Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue. We accept guest columnists from time and encourage brief comments (under 100 words) from serious readers. To learn more about what we do, contact us at



  1. I hope that they compare the big fuss we are making about the arrest of two activists in Saudi Arabia with the silence coming from Ottawa about the frequent jailing of people who write poetry, people who post on Facebook, and journalists who use words that the Israeli government does not like. Israel’s jails are full of people jailed for speaking out but I cannot recall Canada’s government ever having objected.

  2. The omission is especially noteworthy BECAUSE Israel calls itself a democracy and BECAUSE Canada considers Israel a friend. If Canada is concerned about democracy in democratic states it considers friends, the friendly thing, the tough-love thing to do is to intervene and expose the injustice and nudge those friends to conform to standards of human decency and international law. To use the family analogy,if I see my brother acting abusively, ignoring his behaviour does not show concern for his well-being and dignity; in fact it enables the abusive behaviour.

  3. It will be of interest to watch and see who tries to show up as a distractor at this Winnipeg symposium. Sadly, I’m anticipating some well known Canadian politician will act as the spoiler, defending the Apartheid regime on the assumption that such action will bring benefits to a certain political we gear up for a general election in 2019 or 2020.

    1. hEY Allan, perhaps that will happen. But in our democracy isn’t it to be expected that political parties search for support wherever they can?

  4. This is not the first time, double standard is a well-known element exists among Canadian Politicians. They have always turned blind eye on the crimes, injustices and discriminations committed by this apartheid regime.

    Canada has never condemned Israel’s human rights abuse and violation of international laws yet it has the audacity and nerve to criticize and complain about human liberties and freedoms in other countries. Canada has opened its mouth too wide this time to cry for while keeping its mouth shut, closed its eyes and minds, and conscience to denounce Israel’s point blank killings, incremental genocide, children abuse and harassment, and human dignity violations.

    When will Canada end its servitude attitude? What will it take for Canada to recognise the human rights desecration in Israel? When will Canada realize that Palestinians are humans too and they have the right to live and have the rights to return to their home? Homes that have been the dumping ground for the unwanted Europeans who occupied it and who kicked out its inhabitants, it’s too long. When will Canada’s whole-hearted support of this regime be ended? How many more lives need to be taken? How long the occupation and murders will linger? How many will be too many for Canadian Politicians to stand against the aggression and find its way towards legacy of harmony and peace? Is this too much to ask to have human rights and human dignity for Palestinians?

    1. Hey Muazzam, I think you are right to point out the hypocrisy of Canada’s position. Unfortunately, Canada is not alone in this regard, or even exceptionally bad.

      The question in my mind, is not so much “when will Canada change?”, as “what do we have to do to MAKE Canada change?”

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