UN vote on Palestinian independence: NGOs tell Canada to choose Israel

“CIJA expects that Canada will adopt meaningful and tangible ways to reaffirm its unqualified support for and friendship with Israel."

Chair of the Delegation of Canada Marc-Andre Blanchard addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., October 1, 2018 (photo credit: REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID)
Chair of the Delegation of Canada Marc-Andre Blanchard addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., October 1, 2018
(photo credit: REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID)
Several nonprofits have urged Canada to stand with Israel at the United Nations on Wednesday when the General Assembly votes on a resolution in favor of Palestinian self-determination.
 
The vote is one of at least 18 pro-Palestinian and/or anti-Israeli texts that the UNGA is scheduled to approve this month.

Canada is traditionally one of the countries that stands with Israel by either rejecting or abstaining from such resolutions. 

But last month, during a preliminary vote at the Third Committee, Canada reversed one of its traditional voting patterns by voting “yes” instead of “no” after the United States clarified that it no longer views West Bank settlements as illegal.

Canada’s Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) has since pressured the Canadian government to reverse that decision, including by meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier this month.

“Trudeau said that Canada’s vote on this resolution will not change back because Canada seeks to underscore its commitment to a two-state solution,” CIJA CEO Shimon K. Fogel said. 

He noted that Trudeau committed not to change any other Canadian votes related to Israel at the UN.

“CIJA expects that Canada will adopt meaningful and tangible ways to reaffirm its unqualified support for and friendship with Israel,” Fogel said.

However, the Geneva-based UN Watch has collected 37,000 signatures for an online petition calling on Trudeau to reverse Canada’s vote.

“The resolution condemns Israel’s anti-terrorism barrier yet omits to mention that it was built in response to the Second Intifada, which killed or wounded 8,341 Israelis by Palestinian suicide bombings, shootings, stoning, stabbing, lynchings, rockets and other methods of attack,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel C. Neuer. “The resolution was presented last month mere days after PIJ fired hundreds of rockets at Israelis, yet the text fails to say a word about this either.”

The UNGA is also expected to vote in support of a resolution combating the “glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”