Canada will vote no

John Baird is in New York today to vote against a resolution that would recognize Palestine as a non-voting observer state at the United Nations. The Prime Minister referred to the resolution as a “shortcut” yesterday and has reportedly pressured Mahmoud Abbas to drop the bid. Campbell Clark now considers what Canada might do in response to the resolution passing.

Michael Petrou makes the case that Canada should support Palestinian membership.

After QP yesterday, Liberal MP Irwin Cotler explained why he doesn’t support the resolution.

This démarche by the Palestinians, I’ve said this to Mr. Abbas, I’m not saying anything to [you], ’ve not said to him, I met with him over the past year several times and the Palestinians leaders and I said that this is a breach of Israel-Palestinian agreement. It’s a breach of international agreements, UN Security Council resolutions, etc., calling for direct negotiations between the parties as a basis for just and lasting peace. It’s a breach of a whole series of bilateral agreements with as a result of this mega-rupture, so I think it’s a mistake as a matter of law, as a matter of policy and a mistake in terms of seeking, on the 65th anniversary of that initial resolution, the same two states for two peoples…

Our position should be to bring the parties together for direct negotiations without preconditions, with a view to addressing all of the standing issues that remain on the agenda and with a view to securing, as I say, a just and lasting peace. I think that should be our approach. I think that the extent that we object, our objection should be that this unilateral initiative is in breach of the UN’s own resolutions and in breach of Israeli-Palestinian bilateral agreements and international agreements.

The NDP questioned Mr. Baird on the government’s approach during QP yesterday.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.