While Israel publicly supports a 2 state solution, it continues to take over more and more land. Most observers think that it is not possible for Palestinians to have a real state on the tiny amount of land they still control. However, Canada like most of the Western world, has stubbornly remained committed to the 2 state idea while seeming to ignore Israeli expansion. Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) has just issued a policy paper calling Canada’s policy into question. CTIP interviews CJPME’s Michael Bueckert about the thinking behind the new policy recommendations. Read more and watch the video interview.
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is calling for a major shift in Canadian policy vis-a-vis Israel and Palestine to de-emphasize the goal of a “two-state solution,” noting that the longstanding position of the Canadian government may no longer be possible nor desirable.
“Deliberate Israeli policy over half a century has effectively killed the possibility of a two-state solution,” says Michael Bueckert, Vice President of CJPME. “Canada’s entire policy amounts to reiterating old talking points about two states, (… this) closes off the possibility of possible alternatives which may be more capable of fulfilling the equal rights and freedoms of Palestinians and Israelis,” added Bueckert.
Many observers have noted that the idea of a two state solution has wide appeal in Canada because it sounds fair. Canadian policy has prioritised this nice sounding but elusive goal over more practical and concrete actions like opposing house demolitions or expulsions in Jerusalem or new settlement construction in the West Bank.
The CJPME policy paper has 6 specific recommendations for Canadian policy.
- Prioritize urgent action in support of human rights and freedom.
- Stop privileging the two-state solution as the only acceptable outcome, and support whatever option is most likely to secure equal freedoms and rights for all, irrespective of religion or ethnicity.
- Be clear that Israeli proposals for a Palestinian “entity” or “state minus” are completely unacceptable.
- Advance the possibility of Palestinian self-determination by putting pressure on the Israeli government, including economic and diplomatic sanctions.
- Acknowledge the role of power relations in any future negotiations.
- Continue to push for recognition of the State of Palestine.
In a video interview, CJPME Vice-President Michael Bueckert discusses the newly released policy paper with Peter Larson, Chair of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine.
The CJPME report can be found here.
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 Canada’s response to 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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