Offside: 5 (recent) times Canada voted AGAINST the global consensus on human rights

For all the talk from Justin Trudeau about Canada returning to the role of defender of human rights and the international rule of law, it’s important to highlight the glaring hypocrisy when it come to the issue of Palestine. Votes at the United Nations immediately following Trudeau’s election win in 2015 followed in lock-step, those of Stephen Harper. Some speculated it was still a matter of a government finding its feet after an election. However, a year later, another series of votes were taken at the General Assembly of the United Nations and the results were the same.

The important point is not that Trudeau has continued the voting record of Harper, it’s what is being voted on and what side of the global consensus is Canada finding itself. In that context, here are 5 (very recent) times the Trudeau government voted AGAINST the global consensus on Palestinian human rights:

    1. Canada voted AGAINST 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.”

      Resolution: Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People – A/71/L.18
      Vote: 100 in favour, 9 against (including Canada).


    2. Canada voted AGAINST efforts to support “a most useful and constructive contribution to raising international awareness of the question of Palestine and of the urgency of a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine in all its aspects on the basis of international law and United Nations resolutions.”

      Resolution: Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat – A/71/L.19
      Vote: 98 in favour, 9 against (including Canada).


    3. Canada voted AGAINST efforts to enhance “dialogue and understanding between Palestinians and Israelis for the promotion of a peaceful settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including by fostering and encouraging the contribution of the media in support of peace between the two sides.”

      Resolution: Special information program on the question of Palestine of the
      Department of Public Information of the Secretariat” – A/71/L.20
      Vote: 153 in favour, 7 against (including Canada).


    4. Canada voted AGAINST “expressing grave concern about the extremely detrimental impact of Israeli settlement policies, decisions and activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, including on the contiguity, integrity and viability of the Territory, the viability of the two State solution.”Canada voted AGAINST “Expressing grave concern also about all acts of violence, intimidation and provocation by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians including children, and properties, including homes, mosques, churches and agricultural lands, condemning acts of terror by several extremist Israeli settlers, and calling for accountability for the illegal actions perpetrated in this regard.”

      Resolution: Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine -A/71/L.21
      Vote: 153 in favour, 7 against (including Canada).


    5. Canada voted AGAINST efforts stressing “that a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of the City of Jerusalem should take into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and Israeli sides and should include internationally guaranteed provisions to ensure the freedom of religion and of conscience of its inhabitants, as well as permanent, free and unhindered access to the holy places by people of all religions and nationalities.”

      Resolution: Jerusalem” – A/71/L.22
      Vote: 149 in favour, 7 against (including Canada).

Let’s put aside the content that Canada voted against (which is surprising in and of itself given our rhetoric as a nation that supports the international rule of law) and just look at what side of the global consensus Canada was on with some of these votes (#4 on the list):

153 For (including)  9 Against  7 Abstained
France Canada Australia
Germany Federated States of Micronesia Cameroon
Norway Israel Honduras
Netherlands Marshall Islands Papua New Guinea
New Zealand Nauru Paraguay
Sweden Palau Tonga
Switzerland United States Vanuatu
United Kingdom

When Canada finds itself on the other side of a global vote with pretty much ALL of its traditional allies, as well as most of the entire world for that matter, we need to raise red flags and ask why. This brings us full circle in our series #MoralCover on Canada’s Israel lobby. The recent release of an extensive poll about the gap between our political leadership and the general population on the issue of Israel-Palestine only reinforces the point that The Lobby exerts out-sized influence on our leadership and is able to co-opt Canada’s moral reputation in the world to provide cover for the more egregious, and sometime illegal, actions of a foreign county. Enough is enough.

Our government should accurately represent the will and values of Canadians. Moving forward there should be no Moral Cover for Israel.