Breaking a fourteen-year precedent, the Trudeau government has voted in favour of a resolution at the United Nations condemning Israel.
The resolution, calling for the self-determination of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, condemns Israel as “occupiers” of a Palestinian state.
The resolution stressed the “urgency of achieving without delay an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967″ and asks the United Nations to “continue to support and assist the Palestinian people in the early realization of their right to self-determination.”
Similarly-worded resolutions come before the United Nations annually, but this is the first time in years Canada has supported one in over a decade.
The resolution, sponsored by North Korea and Zimbabwe, also cites an International Court of Justice ruling from 2004 which says Israel’s border wall “severely impedes the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.”
Canada’s decision to support the resolution was immediately condemned by experts as a cynical move which completely ignores the acts of terrorism committed against Israel by extremists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer called the move an anti-Israel vote.
“Canada joins the jackals, votes for anti-Israel resolution co-sponsored by North Korea, Zimbabwe & the PLO. Resolution condemns Israel for “occupying” Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem & holiest sites of Judaism. Ignores hundreds of Palestinian rockets just fired at Israelis,” he tweeted.
Joel Reitman, Chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, also acknowledged the hypocrisy, saying he had previously been told by former Global Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland that Canada would not change its position on Israel.
“That neither this resolution nor any other currently being considered even acknowledge the obscene barrage of Palestinian-launched rockets and missiles raining down on Israel’s civilian population reflects just how distorted and one-sided these resolutions are,” he said.
Neuer has also suggested that Canada voted for the motion in an attempt to gain support ahead of the 2021 UN Security Seat Council opening.
While Canada announced its intention to run for a Security Council seat in 2016, experts suggested to CBC that Canada has a low chance of getting elected. Opponents such as Ireland and Norway have been campaigning for a council seat for over a decade longer than Canada.
The government has spent over $1.8 million on its campaign so far, not including the salary of the 13 people hired to work on the Canadian campaign.
In order to win a seat on the UN Security Council, Canada will need to get the vote of nations in Africa and the Middle East, nearly all of which support annual UN resolutions condemning Israel.
Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations, Marc-André Blanchard, says that despite the low odds of winning the seat, Canada would have a lot to offer the global community by being on the Security Council.
“Canada can make a huge difference on the Security Council and I hope that member states feel the same way and vote for us,” he said.