Wendy visiting Canada, Sun Dec 04, 2005
This is an encouraging article. Interesting that it's seen as an election issue in Canada, where I am currently visiting for a conference. A change in the position of Canada at the UN is seen as a good pre-election move by the current Liberal government. Nice change. --Wendy
Ottawa set to reject anti-Israel resolutions
By SHAWN MCCARTHY
Thursday, December 1, 2005 Page A9
NEW YORK -- In a move sure to stir up political resentment during a tough election campaign, the Liberal government yesterday adopted a more pro-Israel stand in votes on UN resolutions condemning the Israeli occupation of Arab lands.
Canada has traditionally abstained on a slew of resolutions introduced annually in the United Nations General Assembly, but, this year, it signalled it will join the United States and only a few other countries in voting against three of them, arguing they are one-sided and unhelpful for the peace process.
Voting on the resolutions, which should pass by a wide majority, began yesterday, and Canada is expected to cast its vote today.
Prominent members of the Canadian Jewish community have directly lobbied Prime Minister Paul Martin to change Canada's tradition of abstaining with the majority of industrialized countries when Arab countries move their annual anti-Israel resolutions in the General Assembly.
Yesterday, the national chairman of the Canada-Israel Committee said he was pleased with the pending No votes, while the president for the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations criticized the move and suggested it could provoke a backlash among some voters.
Hussein Amery said he has fielded a number of angry calls regarding the government's stand at the UN.
"Obviously, this is a sensitive time in Canada, and the Liberal Party has taken into account the concerns of both sides in the country and is trying to balance their votes at the United Nations to try to please everyone," Mr. Amery said. "In the end, it will please no one."
He said the Liberal government has provided significant support for the Palestinian cause, including the establishment of the Canada Centre for Peace and Democracy, in the region. But he said the UN vote represents "moral suasion" that signals the world's condemnation of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and its construction of settlements there.
Marc Gold, of the Canada-Israel Committee, said the government's decision to vote against the resolutions was "long overdue." Israel's supporters were frustrated by the resistance within the Ottawa bureaucracy and among its UN diplomats to the change, he said.
"What is revealed in this process is the extent to which it is seen as a zero-sum game, as if the only way to be pro-Palestinian is to bash Israel in one-sided resolutions."
He, too, said the Liberal government has been supportive of the Palestinian cause, but added that "what these votes are about is bringing much-needed reform to the UN."
In a speech in the General Assembly yesterday, Gilbert Laurin, Canada's second-in-command at the UN, said Ottawa is unhappy with the body's tradition of passing numerous resolutions that only add to the rancour in the region.
The language of the resolutions "creates a sense of imbalance, and seems to suggest that it is only Israel that has obligations," said Mr. Laurin, who spoke because Ambassador Allan Rock was travelling.
"The responsibilities of other actors, including Palestinians, are often not sufficiently emphasized, nor are references to Israeli security needs. Canada will not support resolutions that use emotive and provocative language in place of the straight facts."
The U.N. discovers the cause of anti-Semitism: Jews By ANNE BAYEFSKY, Opinion Journal, November 18, 2004
Useful quotes made by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Elie Wiesel on the UN and antisemitism
The UN's Jewish Problem Ruth R. Wisse, Weekly Standard, March 31/02 (04/08/2002, Volume 007, Issue 29)
Israel faces rampant discrimination at the United Nations Julian Schvindlerman, the Miami Herald, November 1, 2002.
A Typical UN Press Release Forum Post by Wendy, Thu Aug 25, 2005
British diplomats push Annan for a 'no excuses' definition of terrorism By Charles Laurence, Sunday Telegraph, 24 July 2005
UN Record on Israel and Arab East Jerusalem Forum Posts by Oboler, Wendy, Aug 25, 2005
Some good news, Dan Gillerman appointment Forum Posts by Wendy Sept 2005 + JPosy article
ADL suggestions for reforming the UN Forum Posts by Wendy Sept 2005
Sharon and Peace at the UN Forum Posts by Wendy Sept 2005 and article New York Times, September 16, 2005 By JOEL BRINKLEY
The UN's Palestinian Problem Forum Posts by Wendy October 2005 and article
Australia for Israel at the UN Forum Posts by Miriam downunder and Wendy October 2005 and article from The Australian
Canada to reject anti-Israel UN resolutions Forum Posts by Wendy visiting Canada December 2005 and article
Bauer on UN antisemitism From lecture notes on antisemitism
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