The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), B’nai Brith Canada and Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC)— have jointly blasted the Trudeau government for its United Nations General Assembly vote last week to affirm Palestinian self-determination.
The groups point out that the resolution Canada approved failed to also affirm Jewish self-determination “in the indigenous and ancestral homeland of the Jewish people, intentionally erasing historical Jewish connections to Jerusalem — including the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site. “
“In its Explanation of Vote (EOV), Canada detailed the many shortcomings of this resolution, and the unfair targeting of Israel — yet Canada then proceeded to vote in favour of the text,” stated Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “That decision is not only contradictory, it flies in the face of Canada’s principled opposition to other resolutions in the unbalanced Question of Palestine basket of resolutions that are tabled annually at the U.N. General Assembly. We must ask ourselves— does support for this resolution bring us any closer to a durable and sustaining peace?”
Former Liberal MP Michael Levitt, now President and CEO of FSWC, said the groups are “dismayed by Canada’s decision to undermine its longstanding policy of rejecting one-sided and prejudicial anti-Israel resolutions at the UN.
“By supporting this resolution, Canada is providing ammunition to those who seek to delegitimize and demonize the State of Israel, which ultimately sets back the prospects for peace in the region.”
Shimon Koffler Fogel, CIJA’s President and CEO, said the Canadian government has doubled down on its “incomprehensible support for a resolution that simply expands the anti-Israel narrative within the United Nations system – an aberration in the voting pattern established and re-affirmed by successive Canadian governments for almost two decades until the Liberal government changed its vote last year.
“Notwithstanding other praiseworthy initiatives, including the Security Infrastructure Program and the renewal and expansion of the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement, this vote will undermine the Jewish community’s confidence in this government – its willingness to stand by its principles as they relate to Israel, as well as its relationship with the Jewish community here in Canada.”
The groups also pointed out that the Trudeau government committed to continuing the 2004 policy to “review and re-calibrate Canadian votes at the UN General Assembly,” a policy accelerated by the Harper administration and also followed by the Trudeau government until 2019.
“Canada departed from this established policy last year, triggering widespread disappointment and anger within the pro-Israel community – especially in light of assurances expressed by multiple Liberal candidates during the 2019 election campaign that a re-elected Liberal government would stand firm and maintain its comprehensive rejection of all relevant UNGA resolutions,” the Jewish community groups jointly stated.
Canada’s approval of a 2019 resolution condemning Israel was reported to be part of its extensive and ultimately unsuccessful effort to gain a UN Security Council seat.