Recent UN report on human rights in Occupied Territories contains a message for Canada

Prime Minister Trudeau and Prime Minister Netanyahu celebrate the signature of the “modernised” Canada Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA) in 2019. It directly contravenes a Security Council resolution which is mandatory for all UN members. The most recent report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories has made several recommendations aimed at countries like Canada which are ignoring UNSC resolutions. Read more and see our video interview.

The most recent report to the UN General Assembly by Professor Michael Lynk makes seven specific recommendations aimed at countries which are not compliant with mandatory UN Security Council resolutions.

Lynk is the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and is mandated to make two reports back to the UN every year. This is his 9th report.

In his most recent report Lynk focuses on the issue of foreign companies which continue to do business unhindered in the Occupied Territories. He has 7 recommendations aimed at these companies and at UN member states which, like Canada, make no effort to restrict such commerce, in violation of UNSC resolutions.

Lynk urges UNSC action

Two of Lynk’s recommendations affect Canada:

  • RECOMMENDATION: request all States to refrain from any relations — including diplomatic, consular, trade and other agreements — with Israel implying any recognition of the authority of the Government of Israel over any part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory;
  • RECOMMENDATION: Call upon all States to ensure that all corporate enterprises regulated by them cease any and all investment, commercial, operational and trade dealings of any sort with respect to the Israeli settlements, Israeli industrial enterprise zones or with companies regulated by the Government of Israel operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

Lynk calls on the Security Council to take measures to apply pressure on Israel, and on companies and countries who continue to do business in the Occupied Territories.

Canada in violation of UNSC resolutions

Canada is one such country. Its newly modernised Canada Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA) directly violates UN Security Council resolution 2334 which calls upon all States, (…) to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.”

According to a recent analysis by Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), CIFTA violates UNSC 2334 in two important ways:

  • CIFTA’s definition of “Israeli territory” encompasses the occupied Palestinian territories. In this way, the Canadian government confers de facto legitimacy to Israeli colonies, enables their economic growth, and contributes to their permanence – all contrary to international law and official Canadian policy on Israeli colonies.
  • CIFTA fails to address product labelling issues. CIFTA allows products made in the occupied Palestinian territories to enter Canada as “Israeli products”.

Perhaps more significantly, a clause from the original CIFTA, requiring the parties to interpret and apply its provisions “in accordance with applicable rules of international law” was quietly dropped from the text of the “modernized” agreement. No public explanation was offered.

Canadians who believe in the value of the United Nations and of international law might want to support the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur by emailing Prime Minister
Trudeau, ( Global Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne (, or our UN Ambassador Bob Rae (


Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) is the weekly newsletter of Peter Larson, Chair of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine (OFIP). It aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue with a focus on the truth, clear analysis and human rights for all. Readers with different points of view are invited to make comment.

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  1. Sadly, Canada hasn’t had an honest broker on mideast issues since Pearson. The rest, including our current PM have all been too hungry for political campaign contributions.

    1. Hey Allan,
      thanks for your thought. Actually, I think the idea that Canada was ever an “honest broker” is a bit romantic. We have always been on Israel’s side.

      Don’t forget that Pearson was our Ambassador to the UN who voted for partitioning Palestine in 1947 giving 55% of it over to incoming European Jews fleeing the holocaust and persecution. They certainly needed safety and protection, but instead of offering them that in Canada, we preferred to give them somebody else’s land.

  2. How is it that Israel , the only so called democracy in the Middle East , can deny Mr. Link entry to the country when his mission has been mandated by the United Nations? As a member country of the UN, Israel and all other member states , I would think , are expected to cooperate with the UN.

  3. Peter,

    Prof. Lynk reminds us that because Israel controls the Physical borders of Gaza and the Occupied West Bank, trade with Palestinians in physical goods without Israeli permission is not possible. While in Ramallah I briefly met two gentlemen who worked at a nearby software company. Is there trade with such companies? If not, why not?

      1. Yes, In theory, that border is controlled by the Egyptians and the PA. However there are agreements between Israel and Egypt that restrict the use of the Rafah crossing with the stated intent of preventing its use to support “terrorism”. In actual practice, the Rafah crossing is only used to allow a very restricted number of persons to exit for access to medical care or education. All trade in goods passes through the crossing that is controlled by Israel. Thus, in practice, trade with Palestinians in physical goods without Israeli permission is not possible.

  4. Many people wondered during many decades how Israel got and gets away with trampling on every international law, crimes against humanity, war crimes, land, water and resources theft, killings and ethnic cleansing, crimes of apartheid and strangulation of 2 million people, with total impunity. These are due to a hundred year of very well run propaganda machine, by Israel and Zionists elsewhere. Brain washing of Israelis and all others world wide. Intimidation and silencing of Jews and non Jews. Buying politicians and destroying the ones who did not toe the line. Influencing the media and a lot more and covert operations. Instead of paying any price, they actually grew in power, with the support of Zionists (Jews and non Jews). It became a snow ball, the more power they got, the more they achieved the cooperation of the world.It came to the point that today no one can stand or dares to stand against Israel. This is the world we are living in. Of course not to mention the corrupt and self serving Arab and Muslim countries, who never did anything, beside lip service. One important factor is that on every occasion that Israel exacted crimes of any kind against the Palestinians and saw that no action was taken by the world,,it made them bolder.

    1. No one wonders. They know that most of the resolutions are based on antisemitism. It does not take PR to know that.

      However, i am only a little surprised that Larson actually approved this sordidly antisemitic post by Javanish. But it does prove that CTIP can reasonably be listing among Canada’s antisemitic organizations.

  5. Larson, you are now on notice that a formal complaint shall be made as to you being a purveyor of antisemitic hate speech based on your approval of Javanish post. be prepared to defend yourself. A screen shot has been made so any attempt to destroy the evidence will be a worthless endeavor. But thank you for providing proof of your antisemitic outlook on life.

    1. Hey Mr. Sigman, thank you. l am on notice.

      Mr. Javanshir’s post challenged Zionism. Anti-Zionism is not the same thing as anti-Semitism. As you, both historically and today, a considerable number of Jews are opposed to Zionism.

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