For the last two decades, Canada, along with the US and a handful of other nations, has consistently voted to shield Israel from criticism at the United Nations. Internal Global Affairs documents reveal that our own diplomats at the UN were concerned that our pro-Israel votes were hurting our international reputation. But they were consistently over-ruled by higher ups in Global Affairs and the Prime Minister’s office. Why? See our interview with lead author Michael Bueckert. …
Canada’s career foreign affairs officials at the UN recognize that Canada’s staunchly pro-Israel voting record contradicts its own official policy and harms its international reputation, according to internal documents obtained by Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME).
CJPME lead author Michael Bueckert used Access to Information legislation to obtain internal Global Affairs Canada documents for the period leading up to Canada’s voting at the UN General Assembly in 2019.
The emails and the full CJPME report show that Canada’s representatives to the UN in New York, argued in favour of Canada taking an entirely “merit-based” approach to each resolution on Palestine and Israel. They pointed out that defending Israel consistently was in contradiction to Canada’s officially “balanced” policy.
“We’ve been arguing for years that Canada’s votes against Palestinian rights are inconsistent with Canada’s own official policies”, said Tom Woodley, President of CJPME. “The released documents show that Canadian officials actually agree with this analysis.“
In fact, as CJPME and others have noted, Canada actually has TWO POLICIES when it comes to Israel/Palestine. One of these policies, the “official” policy, can be found on the website of Global Affairs, claims Canada “supports” Israel and “supports” the Palestinians. It is mostly for public consumption. Most Canadians feel comfortable with Canada’s “official” Israel/Palestine policy – based on the comforting notion of 2 states for 2 peoples. What could sound more fair?
Canada’s “real” policy in contrast, is quite different – it is to defend Israel in almost every possible way. Back in 2018, CTIP research took a careful look at Canada’s so-called “balanced” policy and found more than 25 ways that Canada favours Israel at the expense of the Palestinians, mostly under the table and out of the public spotlight.
Canada’s pattern of pro-Israel voting at the UN, while continuing to use the rhetoric of “balance” is yet another example of the Canadian government’s two faced approach to Israel/Palestine for the last several decades.
CTIP interviewed Dr. Michael Bueckert, lead author of the CJPME report about why Canada’s voting record at the UN is so inconsistent with our “official policy” and with the recommendations of its UN personnel.
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 who disagree are invited to comment. NOTE: While disagreement is welcome, ad hominem criticisms or vulgar comments will not be reprinted.
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