By Hanna Kawas
Canadian activists have compiled a study of Canada’s 2019 voting record at the United Nations on resolutions that document and censure Israeli violations of international law.
There was much fanfare made about Canada’s orphan “yes” vote at the UN General Assembly this year on “The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination” resolution. But in the broader context of the other 17 resolutions calling out Israel’s war crimes, that Canada either voted against (15) or abstained on (2), this lone vote can only be seen as deceptive and hypocritical.
Justin Trudeau, explaining his government’s vote to Canadian Zionists, stated:
“The government felt that it was important to reiterate its commitment to a two-states-for-two-peoples solution at a time when its prospects appear increasingly under threat”.
However, if the Trudeau government was really committed to a “two-states-for-two-peoples solution”, it is inconceivable that at the same time they also voted against:
- A resolution to support the work of the “Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People” that affirms the UN “has a permanent responsibility towards the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects”;
- The “Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine” resolution that calls “on Member States not to recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regards to Jerusalem”;
- “The Syrian Golan” resolution that “Demands once more that Israel withdraw from all the occupied Syrian Golan to the line of 4 June 1967 in implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions”;
- “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” resolution;
- The resolution that condemns the “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan” and reaffirms the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force”; and
- The resolution concerning “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem” that expresses “grave concern about the continuing systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel”.
And finally, why would Canada vote against a resolution to uphold the rights of “Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities”, unless it supports Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the West Bank and the “Greater Israel Project”?!
Some observers have speculated that Canada’s lone vote was motivated by Trudeau’s desire to obtain a seat on the UN Security Council. Over a year ago, then Foreign and now Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland was quoted as follows during a visit to Israel:
“She also mentioned Canada’s current bid for one of 10 non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council for 2021-2022, which she hoped would allow Canada to serve as an ‘asset for Israel and… strengthen our collaboration’.”
So, this is what Canada plans to do if it gets sufficient votes for a seat, be an “asset for Israel”?
Canada is relying on the votes, and possible lobbying, of some Arab reactionary regimes to get the backing required for the Security Council seat; one example is Jordan.
Just last month during a visit, “Jordan’s King Abdullah II told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the Middle Eastern kingdom supports Canada’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council”. This was according to Jordan’s ambassador to Canada, Majed Alqatarneh, who also said Jordan “believes it is important that Canada have a seat on the Security Council”.
Canada also seems to be counting on the support of certain diplomatic circles from the US; former U.S. ambassador to Ottawa, Bruce Heyman stated:
“For me, today, when the U.N. General Assembly is all together, a Canadian seat on the U.N. Security Council is more important than ever”.
We tell Mr. Trudeau that instead of your objective of getting a seat at the UN Security Council, you may end up with a seat in front of the ICC. If the “two-states-for-two-peoples solution…prospects appear increasingly under threat”, it is because of Canada’s (and others) unconditional support for Israeli occupation, war crimes, and apartheid.
– Hanna Kawas is Chairperson of the Canada Palestine Association and co-host of Voice of Palestine. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle. Visit: http://www.cpavancouver.org.