Canada’s Vote Opposing UN Recognition of Palestine. Quebec’s Motion to Recognize Palestine Statehood

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Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) hails the motion to recognize Palestinians’ right to self-determination and to establish a state, adopted without opposition yesterday by Quebec’s National Assembly. Presented jointly by Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-François Lizée (Parti Quebecois) and MNA Amir Khadir (Quebec Solidaire), the National Assembly motion is significant, the result of fruitful negotiations between the political parties that generated a unanimous decision on the question.

Such a unanimous stance has not been seen for 25 years in the National Assembly. The Assembly opted to send a clear message to Ottawa, urging it “to take note of the United Nations’ decision recognizing Palestine’s status as an observer state, and to continue the much-needed Canadian aid for the construction of a state of law in the Palestinian territories.” The motion also reaffirmed “Quebec’s unwavering support for a negotiated solution that meets Israel’s need to live in peace within secure and recognized borders and also recognises Palestinians’ right to self-determination and to establish a state.”

“The National Assembly’s motion clearly confirms the ever-growing support for the Palestinians’ fundamental right to live as full citizens in their own state, as do Israelis,” explains CJPME President Thomas Woodley. “It also demonstrates the desire of Quebec’s elected representatives, as an assembly, for Canada to provide generous aid to the Palestinians,” he adds. CJPME notes that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians depend on foreign aid-especially that of the UN agency UNWRA-to survive. The Harper government should confirm that it intends to at least maintain the current level of aid provided to the Palestinians.

CJPME has denounced Canada’s vote opposing UN recognition of Palestine. CJPME also criticizes the near-silence of the Harper government on the hostile and unilateral measures taken by Israel following the UN decision. CJPME encourages the opposition parties to critically assess the Harper government’s counterproductive stances. All of the parties should be more attentive to the need to denounce Israel’s violations of international law, especially its illegal confiscation of land in the occupied Palestinian territories with the intention of expanding its colonies.

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