The honest broker the UN desperately needs

United Nations flag WIKI COMMONS PHOTO
United Nations flag (WIKI COMMONS PHOTO)

In early November, less than three weeks after the Liberal party won a majority in the federal election, newly appointed Canadian Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion was quoted as saying that the Trudeau government would assume the role of “honest broker” in the Middle East. As The CJN reported at the time, it was unclear whether Dion was cited correctly, but that did not stop many in the Jewish community from worrying that Justin Trudeau’s Liberals would abandon the strong support for Israel adopted by the Stephen Harper government that preceded it.

Now, perhaps we have some more clarity on the matter.

Last week, the United Nations General Assembly adopted six non-binding resolutions against Israel. As Ron Csillag reports in this week’s CJN, Canada voted against all of them.

The latest UN resolutions cover the usual gamut of perceived Israeli abuses, and express a one-sided view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Among the resolutions are calls for continued “efforts to promote the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination, to support the achievement without delay of an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and of the two-state solution on the basis of the pre-1967 borders,” an expression of “grave concern about the extremely detrimental impact of Israeli settlement policies, decisions and activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem,” and a reiteration of the UN’s determination that “any actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever, and [it] calls upon Israel to immediately cease all such illegal and unilateral measures.”

As the monitoring organization UN Watch noted, there were no resolutions directed against serial human rights abusers like China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Islamic State (ISIS) wasn’t mentioned. Neither were Palestinian terrorists.

Israel, meanwhile, was also censured for its “continued occupation of the Syrian Golan and its de facto annexation,” which “constitute a stumbling block in the way of achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region.” If you assumed the United Nations’ concern when it comes to Syria would be on the bloody civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands, displaced many more and threatens to engulf the world in an even more ferocious conflict, well, you just don’t know how the UN operates.

In other words, the latest resolutions against Israel should come as no surprise. This is one of those biases that Israel and its supporters assume, if not accept, is inevitable. And while groups like UN Watch do well to report on the UN’s Israel infatuation, few believe the situation can or will change anytime soon.

Even so, the fact that the Trudeau Liberals took a stand against these six resolutions might at least allay the concerns of some Jewish Canadians. In these early days, it appears Canada’s new leadership will continue to publicly support the Jewish state, as the Harper Conservatives did. That’s encouraging news, not least because the UN is in desperate need of a true honest broker when it comes to Israel.