Middle East Monitor / June 5, 2020
Dozens of Canadian politicians have pressured Ottawa to resist Israel’s planned annexation of the West Bank, joining many of their counterparts in the US, the UK and Europe, in a show of force against Israel’s violation of international law.
Four cabinet members from the era of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien are among 58 former Canadian diplomats and politicians who added their names to a letter calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government to show stronger resistance to Israeli annexation of the West Bank, planned for July.
Signatories to the letter include former ambassadors to Israel who served under both liberal and conservative governments, as well as many other diplomats who represented Canada’s interests in the Middle East, Canadian news agency CBC reported on Tuesday.
“We are writing to you as retired Canadian diplomats, proud of Canada’s historical commitment to multilateral institutions and its reputation for supporting the rule of law,” the letter begins.
In their condemnation of the Israeli plan, they stated: “In the coming weeks a significant amount of land that Canada, and the international community, recognise as occupied Palestinian territory” will be annexed.
“Territorial conquest and annexation are notorious for contributing to fateful results: war, political instability, economic ruin, systematic discrimination and human suffering,” the letter went on to express.
Warning against further annexation of Palestinian territory, a representative of the Trudeau government disclosed: “Canada is very concerned that Israel moving forward with unilateral annexation would be damaging to peace negotiations and contrary to international law.”
“This could lead to further insecurity for Israelis and Palestinians at a critical time for peace and stability in the region.”
In an apparent signal to the signatories, Prime Minister Trudeau waded into the row to denounce Israel. “I’ve been very direct with the Israeli leaders,” Trudeau stated, explaining that he had expressed Canada’s disagreement over the proposed annexation directly to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz.
“We deplore such actions, which are going to delay any prospect of lasting peace in the Middle East,” Trudeau continued.
Canada now joins a string of governments and senior politicians across the world to condemn Israel over its plans to extend its colonisation of Palestine. In May, the UK confirmed that it will not back Israeli annexation plans. In the same month, France pushed for a tougher European Union response against Israel. Angry members of the British House of Lords urged Number Ten to stop granting the Zionist state preferential access to British markets.
In the US, 32 leading US foreign policy professionals, including former ambassadors to Tel Aviv, pressed for democratic leaders to adopt a pro-Palestinian platform. They were followed by some 51 anti-war groups, including a think tank backed by George Soros and Charles Koch, who urged US presidential hopeful Joe Biden to leverage the US’ annual $3.8 billion aid to Israel to pressure the Zionist state to abide by UN Security Resolutions and international law.