Canada reveals some unprincipled principles hidden in its foreign policy

Source: Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East

Foreign Affairs Minister Joly announced that Canada will refer Russia’s attack on Ukraine to the International Criminal Court. But in doing so, she also revealed another, unwritten, principle of Canadian foreign policy: only certain victims of war crimes need apply. Read more…

On March 1st, The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, issued a statement calling for the International Criminal Court to investigate Russian war crimes.

“Canada has decided to refer the situation in Ukraine to the International Criminal Court (ICC)… as a result of numerous allegations of the commission of serious international crimes in Ukraine by Russian forces, including war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

“We firmly stand with Ukraine and the brave men and women fighting to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The perpetrators of these serious international crimes must face justice.”

Brave principled words from our Minister of Foreign Affairs. But apparently our principles dont apply to everyone.

As Emilie Nicolas’s trenchantly observed in Le Devoir: “Canada’s new openness to the war victims seems to stem from their identity as Ukrainians: our doors are open to them on the basis of their “europeanness” rather than their humanity”. (Le choix des mots)

Which of these women deserves Canadian support at the International Criminal Court?

Two victims of crimes against humanity. Above left, Ukrainian woman after Russian missile strike, February 2022. Above right, Palestinian woman in Gaza after Israeli missile attack, 2014. But only the blonde blue-eyed Ukrainian victim deserves the protection of the court, according to the Canadian government.

How does Canada justify supporting the Ukrainian victims but not Palestinian victims?

Two years ago, when the ICC proposed to investigate Israeli war crimes, Canada found a legalistic way to protect Israel. We argued that since we don’t recognize Palestine as a “state” (notwithstanding the fact that over 130 United Nations members do recognize it), the ICC has no jurisdiction.

This shameful argumentation was sharply criticized by many human rights advocates including Alex Neve, then General Secretary of Amnesty International Canada. See video interview with Alex Neve here.

With her recent call for an ICC investigation, Mme Joly has made it clear that to the Canadian government some victims are more important than others….

What about Hamas? – Invitation to OFIP Webinar, March 9th 2022

Hamas is the ultimate boogeyman for the Canadian and other Western governments.

Canada calls Hamas a “terrorist” organization (which, ironically is what Putin is calling Ukrainian nationalists today).

But Hamas is a Palestinian political party with a published program and enjoys a wide following. Learn more about Hamas.

Click here to register for OFIP webinar “What about Hamas?” on March 9th to hear the views of three different Palestinians with different political perspectives.

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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    1. Hey Frank, my coffin will likely have lots of nails… but it won’t have an anti-semitic one.
      BTW, and for the record, I don’t support Hamas. I have never voted for them. Never given any money. Never tried to justify their program or actions. But I do think that Canadians should try to understand them, and I think the Canadian government should be willing to talk to them.

  1. In order to better understand the differences of Canadian policies between Russia and Israel, we have to refer to our beloved Trudeau’s wisdom, when dozens of times he said: “Israel and Canada share same values”. Is it stupidity, corruption, total bias, self preservation or…..

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