Toronto (November 19, 2019) - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is disappointed in Canada’s decision to change its voting position on a UN resolution that implies Israel is exclusively responsible for the Palestinian people’s self-determination.
During a General Assembly Third Committee session today, Canada joined 163 other countries in voting in favour of a resolution titled “The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,” which was co-sponsored by North Korea, Egypt, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe and the Palestinian Authority. Until today, Canada has consistently voted against the resolution.
The resolution, which calls Israel an “occupying power,” falsely claims the construction of the West Bank security barrier by Israel “severely impedes the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination” and ignores Israel’s overtures to bring about peace through negotiation, calling for “an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967."
“We are disappointed that Canada has changed its voting position on this resolution, as the resolution unfairly implies that Israel is responsible for the Palestinian’s self-determination,” said FSWC president and CEO Avi Benlolo. “In truth, the Palestinians have refused to come to a peaceful resolution with Israel on multiple occasions, including since the Oslo Accords. The resolution further fails to acknowledge that Israel had vacated Gaza in 2005 and that the Palestinians living there have self-autonomy under Hamas.”
“After decades of being faced with Palestinian terrorism, Israel has rightfully defended itself and protected its people, all while making countless attempts to reach a fair agreement with the Palestinians under the framework of a two-state solution,” Benlolo added. “Instead of condemning Israel, the UN should ask the Palestinian Authority and terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah what they have done to improve the lives of Palestinian people.”
In a delivered Explanation of Vote, Canada acknowledged that “there are too many resolutions related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a situation which unfairly singles out Israel for criticism. We would prefer to see the international community channel its efforts towards helping both sides to resume direct negotiations and work towards achieving a lasting peace for both peoples.”
A statement from Global Affairs Canada reiterated that “Canada maintains our strong opposition to the singling out of Israel for opprobrium at the UN, and has voted against the vast majority of these yearly Israel-related votes.
During last week’s UN General Assembly Special Political and Decolonization Committee meeting, which resulted in the adoption of eight anti-Israel resolutions, Canada voted against six and abstained from two of the resolutions.