Canada continues to stand with Israel at the UN

The UN General Assembly in 2007. AGÊNCIA BRASIL PHOTO

Canada continued to stand with Israel at the United Nations by voting against a spate of anti-Israel resolutions that are introduced each year at this time.

Canada’s votes last month on the package of 20 resolutions singling out Israel went unchanged from previous years. It voted against 17 of the measures and abstained on two. One is still to come.

On some votes, Canada aligned only with Israel, the United States and the tiny Pacific nations of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, which are staunch supporters of the Jewish state at the UN.

All the resolutions, which are non-binding, passed by wide margins.


UN Watch, a Geneva-based organization that monitors the world body, said the resolutions were one-sided and ignored the terror that’s inflicted by Hamas and Hezbollah.

Canada voted against a resolutions that reaffirms “the right of all persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities to return to their homes or former places of residence in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967.”

UN Watch said the measure’s “purpose and effect are to single out Israel for censure.”

Canada also voted no on a resolution demanding that Israel accept the Geneva Conventions as they apply to “Occupied Palestinian Territory, including east Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967.”

Flags fly at the United Nations headquarters in New York. DAMZOW/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS PHOTO

On the question of Jewish settlements, Canada voted against a resolution that “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan are illegal and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development.”

A resolution expressing “grave concern” about “widespread destruction caused by Israel to vital infrastructure, including water pipelines, sewage networks and electricity networks, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” received a no vote from Canada, as well. UN Watch said the resolution denied Israel’s right to self-defence “by describing every preventative measure (by Israel) as (a) conspiracy against Palestinian resources.”

On the sensitive question of Jerusalem, Canada voted against a measure expressing concern over “tensions, provocations and incitement regarding the holy places of Jerusalem, including the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount) and urging restraint and respect for the sanctity of the holy sites by all sides.”

This, according to UN Watch, implies that Israel hinders freedom of religion, when in fact, “the opposite is true: before (the) 1967 (Six Day War), Jordan destroyed Jewish holy sites and denied access to Jews, while under Israel, all faiths have access to the city and enjoy full freedoms.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015. AMOS BEN GERSHOM/GPO PHOTO

Canada abstained on a resolution expressing concern at the “difficult situation” of Palestinian refugees “under occupation,” and on another warning that any attempts by Israel “to alter the character and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan are null and void.”

However, Canada rejected a resolution expressing concern that Israel has not withdrawn from the “Syrian Golan,” which has been “under occupation since 1967.”

Six of the resolutions were adopted on Nov. 29, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Canada voted against all of them, earning praise from the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre.

Canada’s stance continues a more Israel-friendly shift at the UN that began with former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin and was strengthened under former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper.

UN Watch pointed out that during this session of the UN General Assembly, there were 20 resolutions on Israel and six criticizing countries and regions in the rest of the world: Iran, Syria, North Korea, Crimea, Myanmar, as well as the United States for its embargo on Cuba.

Canada has also won plaudits for voting for a UN resolution condemning Hamas.

For the first time, a majority of UN member countries voted on Dec. 6 to condemn Hamas, but the measure failed to win approval.

The General Assembly voted 87 in favour, 57 against, and 33 abstaining, to condemn Hamas for “repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence, thereby putting civilians at risk,” and for using resources in Gaza to build military infrastructure, including tunnels, to infiltrate Israel.

But earlier, the Assembly had decided that the resolution would need a two-thirds majority to pass. The results were 30 votes short of that threshold.

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre said it was “deeply disappointed” in the UN’s failure to approve the U.S.-led resolution but commended Canada for standing up against the terrorist group.