At the UN General Assembly, Canada again demonstrates its “shared values” with Israel – by refusing to join the rest of the world in criticizing Israel’s illegal settlements

Ma’ale Adumim, an Israeli settlement with a population of 40,000 located in the West Bank. Israeli settlement construction continues at a fervid pace. A recent vote at the UN General Assembly shows that Canada is one of the few countries in the world that refuses to criticize Israeli crimes. Read more

For geostrategic and domestic political reasons, Canada seems intent on defending Israel against world opprobrium – no matter what.

On December 12th, the UN General Assembly voted on a resolution calling for “the immediate and complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.”

The resolution was adopted by 141 in favour with only Canada and six other countries voting against the motion (three of which are the tiny Pacific island states of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Nauru).

In favour: 141 – (i.e. most of the UN member states)

Opposed: 7 – (Canada and 6 other countries)

On this vote, Canada has chosen to side with Israel, the United States and bizarrely, Hungary, whose right wing and antisemitic government is already a European pariah.

Is this what Prime Minister Trudeau means when he says Canada and Israel have “shared values”?

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. When did Canada last vote differently from the US at the UN? We seem to “share values” with the US. Israel is just one example.

    1. I think we voted against the USA in the run up to the US invasion of Iraq. And perhaps one other time, too…
      But Trudeau does not go on and on about having “shared values” with the USA. Thank goodness.

      1. Canada joins the rest of the world by supporting Israel, but you lie about Israelis and Jews most of the time and I can see through your anti Israel and anti Semitic web site how few people even acknowledge you. By the way, if you want Kanye West’s email address I can provide it to you

      2. Hello Ron Smithers,
        Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I think this is the first time you have commented on this blog, so welcome.

        Of course I understand that you disagree with my point of view, but that’s OK. We progress by sharing contradictory viewpoints if we are open to hearing each other. Do you agree?

        I am confused by your statement that “Canada joins the rest of the world by supporting Israel”. My blog post about that recent UN vote said just the opposite. I am not clear if you think I am lying about the UN vote (the link to the UN site was provided) or if you have some other basis for making that statement.

        Ron, you also asked me if I wanted Kanye West’s email address. I think it was meant to be a jibe. I have often written about antisemitism and even about Kanye West. I don’t think making jibes is helpful to having a serious discussion.

        If you do want to have a serious discussion about these issues, you are most welcome. But otherwise, pls don’t bother.

  2. We should hope that one day Trudeau will stand trial as helping war criminals. It is hard to understand the length that he’ll go to cover up for Israel, while their settlement are illegal not only by international law but also Canadian laws.

  3. Well, Canada and Israel are both settler colonial states. I don’t think that’s the “shared values” that Trudeau thinks we share, but it’s the ones we do share.

  4. You know how I feel about you Mr. Larson, but I have an offer to make to you. You need to go to Israel and visit the Halocaust museum in Jerusalem. Failing that, I invite you to go to the Halocaust museum in Washington. You are anti Israel and anti semitic. if you agree to visit either the museum in Jerusalem or Washington, I will pay for your travel to one or the other. It can only lessen your prejudices towards Jews and Israel. Regardless, I intend to expose you for what you are anyways.

    1. Hello Mr. Ehrenworth,
      Are you serious?

      If so, I accept your offer unconditionally. If you pay for my travel expenses, I will visit the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem sometime in 2023. Thank you so much.

      Two questions come to mind:
      1. How can you be assured that I really go to the museum and dont just take your money and run? What kind of proof would be sufficient for you that I held up my end of the bargain? Would a photo do? I would be happy to write up a short report for you. Or make another suggestion.

      2. How can I be assured that you will in fact hold up your end of the bargain?. I can pay up front, but how can I be assured that after I visit the museum you will in fact reimburse me, and not find an excuse for not doing so?

      If you want to back out now, I have another suggestion.

      We can go together to Israel. You can take me to the Holocaust Museum for a whole day and show me what you want to show me. And on the next day, I can take you to Hebron or to the Balata refugee camp in Nablus and I can show you some things you might not have seen before.

      Thank you for the suggestion. Keeping an open mind is key to moving this discussion forward, I think.

      1. I replied to your email yesterday but before I sent it I deleted it. I get too distressed dealing with you, so I have decided not to have further contact with you and your web site. I will cease communication with you except for one thing. I am taking the trip to Israel off the table but will keep my offer of paying for an airfare for you to visit Washingtons Holocaust museum. It is as good as Yad Vashem in Israel and provides the same insight. Let me know when you want to go and I will send you an air ticket.

      2. Mr. Ehrenworth (Shelly)
        I am sorry that communications with me cause you such stress. I wish i could convince you that I don’t harbour any antagonism toward you or toward Jews generally. I would not support or do anything that I thought would put you or any Jew at risk.

        I am of course disappointed that you have withdrawn your generous offer to pay for me to go to Jerusalem to visit Yad Vashem. I would have been happy to do so.

        Your alternative offer to pay my airfare to Washington to visit the National Holocaust Museum there, is also generous.

        As it turns out, I HAVE visited that museum already. That visit was many years ago, but I remember clearly the horrific installation at the entrance that consisted of hundreds of old leather shoes of Holocaust victims, men, women and children. It was frightening. I didn’t need that museum to convince me of the horrors of the Holocaust, but it added to my existing understanding.

        Based on what you say about your stress, I agree that it is probably best if you cease communication with me and with this website.

        I have known you in the past as someone who supports equality and democracy. As Israel slides slowly toward racism and fascism, I expect you will become less and less comfortable with it, and more open to discussing its faults.

        If at some time in the future you would like to rejoin a conversation about Israel with me, I would be happy to do so.

  5. Unfortunately, Canada’s commitment to principle flies out the window when there are trade deals to protect, Israeli lobbyists to appease, and close relations with the US to safeguard. If we keep saying in our official policy that settlements are “an obstacle to peace” but keep silence when they keep multiplying in the OPT and vote against UN resolutions that call them out, let’s at least be honest and say publicly that we don’t really believe in a just peace. And when we say we have “shared values” with Israel, let’s be a bit more explicit and name settler colonialism as one of our cherished common interests.

  6. It’s quite clear that Canadian government officials do not believe in a two state solution or any other statement on their G.C. website. Trudeau has followed Harper’s approach to the occupation of Palestine, but whereas Stephen Harper was /is an avowed Zionist, Justin Trudeau is simply to weak-willed to vote according to Canadian values for human rights, rule of law etc. And while this government has supported reconciliation efforts to Canada’s indigenous community, it has shamefully and hypocritically refused to approach the occupation of Palestine using the same yardstick. There is simply no excuse to deny the Nakba, refuse to accept Palestinian’s right to self determination, and refuse to accept the illegality of Israeli settlements. You can’t boast throughout the world that “we bring up human rights in all our country visits” and then behave like this in international fora such as the UN. The fact that Canada was one of only 7 countries to vote against the resolution on settlements indicates just how far away the government is from mainstream world opinion. Conduct like this only serves to bolster Israeli intransigence and weakens international organizations, tarnishes our reputation and undermines the basic premise of the universality of human rights for ALL people at ALL times. It’s time the Trudeau government grew a spine and stood up for the Palestinians as deserving of the same support as that given to Israel.

  7. Just an excerpt from CJPME message. Trudeau’s voting record.

    As the UNGA session comes to a close, Canada’s voting has remained firmly entrenched in the same pro-Israel position that it has maintained since 2019. Out of 10 resolutions to come to a final vote so far this year, Canada has voted “Yes” on 1, abstained on 1, and voted “No” on 8.

    Since the last UN Dashboard update, Canada has made its final votes on a series of resolutions without any surprises, voting identical to the positions it had taken at the earlier committee stage. Along those lines, the following resolutions have been adopted by the General Plenary:

    VOTED NO: “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources,” 159 Yes, 8 No (Canada), 10 Abstain.
    VOTED YES: “The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,” 167 Yes (Canada), 6 No, 9 Abstain.
    VOTED NO: “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan,” 141 Yes, 7 No (Canada), 21 Abstain.
    VOTED NO: “Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues,” 153 Yes, 6 No (Canada), 6 Abstain.
    VOTED NO: “Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East,” 157 Yes, 5 No (Canada), 4 Abstain.
    ABSTAINED: “Assistance to Palestine refugees,” 157 Yes, 1 No, 10 Abstain (Canada)

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