The headquarters of the United Nations in New York City (Globe & Mail)
The United Nations General Assembly voted Wednesday in favour of a resolution regarding Palestinian self-determination and condemning anti-terror measures in Israel. The resolution has been broadly criticized by the Jewish community as unfairly anti-Israel in nature. Canada was one of the 167 countries to support the North Korean-sponsored resolution.
B'nai Brith has written both the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs with our expectation that Canada will not permit Israel to be unfairly targeted at the UN. We have informed them that this, combined with a commitment to Israel’s security, is non-negotiable.
B'nai Brith rejects the contention that settlements are the core issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In our view, the core issue remains the rejection by Palestinian leaders and their supporters of Israel's right to exist – and of the Jewish people’s legal right to sovereignty in their ancient homeland.
The best way to promote peace is through direct negotiations between the parties. Historically, all major breakthroughs in the Arab-Israeli peace process have been achieved through direct bilateral negotiations.
"This vote reflects poorly on Canada’s record as a defender of democracy and justice. It stains Canada's reputation," said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B'nai Brith Canada. "Just last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assured the Jewish community that Canada would 'always defend Israel's right to live in security.' Voting for this resolution is not in line with that commitment."
"We remain opposed to Palestinian attempts to internationalize the conflict, which have never achieved a positive result. Indeed, such attempts have been an end-run around bilateral talks," said Brian Herman, B'nai Brith Canada's Director of Government Relations. "Rather than strengthening the peace process, this resolution will embolden hard-liners who refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist and to engage Israel in a meaningful way through negotiations."
B'nai Brith continues to call on the international community to press Palestinian leadership to return to the negotiating table in good faith and to end the unconscionable practice of rewarding the families of terrorists with stipends.