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Canada’s Stance on Palestine

| September 24, 2011
Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas holds up a letter to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon requesting Palestinian statehood at the 66th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York September 23, 2011. REUTERS/Eric Thayer (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

Until this year’s Arab Spring, protest in the Arab world was synonymous with the Palestinian struggle, as the citizenry of Arab states remained spectators to Palestinian-Israeli unrest. Now, since members of these citizenry have risen against their own governments, Palestine’s divided government has united and made a bid to the United Nations (UN) to declare Palestinian statehood. These political developments in Palestine are partly attributable to the Arab Spring: the unification of Hamas and Fatah was brokered by the transitional Egyptian government, which also opened to Palestinians the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. The interim Egyptian government evidently strongly supports Palestine in its conflict with Israel, but the degree to which goals of the Arab uprisings align with those of Palestinian protestors remains to be seen. As has been pointed out, Palestine’s pursuit of statehood is not identical to its pursuit of human rights and an end to Israeli occupation. 

Opponents of the UN bid stress this point, arguing that the bid is counter-productive in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has aligned with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama in his stance that Palestinians should view negotiation with Israel as the only viable method of achieving statehood. Addressing the UN General Assembly Wednesday, President Obama opposed Palestine’s bid on the grounds that ‘genuine peace can only be realized between Israelis and Palestinians themselves’ in attempt to deter Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas from taking the bid to the UN Security Council.

Yet, just as the Arab Spring revolutions were endorsed and aided by international leaders and bodies, the Palestinian statehood bid has been backed by the UN, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank – the IMF and the World Bank released a report in April arguing that the time has come for Palestinian Authority to assume sovereignty.

As the world anticipates a UN decision on Palestinian statehood, OpenCanada charts a selected history of Canada’s voting on Palestine at the UN. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resolution:
Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources

 Session

Consensus

Canada’s vote

61st, 2006

164 Yes | 6 No | 9 Abstention

Abstention

62nd, 2007

166 Yes | 7 No | 6 Abstention

No

63rd, 2008

164 Yes | 8 No | 5 Abstention

No

64rd, 2009

165 Yes | 8 No | 7 Abstention

No

65th, 2010

167 Yes | 8 No | 5 Abstention

No

Resolution:
The human rights situation arising from the recent Israeli military operations in Lebanon

 Session

Consensus

Canada’s vote

61st, 2006

112 Yes | 7 No | 64 Abstention

No

Resolution:
The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

 Session

Consensus

Canada’s vote

61st, 2006

176 Yes | 5 No | 5 Abstention

Abstention

62nd, 2007

176 Yes | 5 No | 4 Abstention

Abstention

63rd, 2008

173 Yes | 5 No | 7 Abstention

Abstention

64rd, 2009

176 Yes | 6 No | 3 Abstention

Abstention
65th, 2010

177 Yes | 6 No | 4 Abstention

Abstention

Resolution:
The Occupied Syrian Golan – Concern over military occupation of Arab territory – illegality of Israel’s decision to effectively annex the Syrian Arab Golan

 Session

Consensus

Canada’s vote

61st, 2006

163 Yes | 2 No | 16 Abstention

Yes

62nd, 2007

164 Yes | 1 No | 10 Abstention

Yes

63rd, 2008

171 Yes | 1 No | 7 Abstention

Yes

64rd, 2009

166 Yes | 1 No | 11 Abstention

Yes
65th, 2010

167 Yes | 1 No | 9 Abstention

Yes

Resolution:
The Occupied Syrian Golan – Concern over military occupation of Arab territory – illegality of Israel’s decision to effectively annex the Syrian Arab Golan

 Session

Consensus

Canada’s vote

61st, 2006

163 Yes | 2 No | 16 Abstention

Yes

62nd, 2007

164 Yes | 1 No | 10 Abstention

Yes

63rd, 2008

171 Yes | 1 No | 7 Abstention

Yes

64rd, 2009

166 Yes | 1 No | 11 Abstention

Yes
65th, 2010

167 Yes | 1 No | 9 Abstention

Yes

Resolution:
Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

 Session

Consensus

Canada’s vote

61st, 2006

157 Yes | 9 No | 14 Abstention

No

62nd, 2007

156 Yes | 7 No | 11 Abstention

No

63rd, 2008

165 Yes | 8 No | 4 Abstention

No

64rd, 2009

162 Yes | 9 No | 5 Abstention

No
65th, 2010

165 Yes | 9 No | 2 Abstention

No

Resolution:
Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

 Session

Consensus

Canada’s vote

61st, 2006

157 Yes | 9 No | 14 Abstention

No

62nd, 2007

156 Yes | 7 No | 11 Abstention

No

63rd, 2008

165 Yes | 8 No | 4 Abstention

No

64rd, 2009

162 Yes | 9 No | 5 Abstention

No
65th, 2010

165 Yes | 9 No | 2 Abstention

No

Resolution:
Applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Territory, including Jerusalem, and other occupied Arab territories

 Session

Consensus

Canada’s vote

61st, 2006

165 Yes | 7 No | 10 Abstention

Yes

62nd, 2007

169 Yes | 6 No | 3 Abstention

Yes

63rd, 2008

173 Yes | 6 No | 1 Abstention

Yes

64rd, 2009

168 Yes | 6 No | 4 Abstention

Yes
65th, 2010

169 Yes | 6 No | 2 Abstention

Yes

Resolution:
Peaceful Settlement of the Question of Palestine

 Session

Consensus

Canada’s vote

61st, 2006

157 Yes | 7 No | 10 Abstention

Abstention

62nd, 2007

161 Yes | 7 No | 5 Abstention

Abstention

63rd, 2008

164 Yes | 7 No | 3 Abstention

Abstention

64rd, 2009

164 Yes | 7 No | 4 Abstention

Abstention
65th, 2010

165 Yes | 7 No | 4 Abstention

Abstention

Records courtesy of United Nations Bibliographic Information System and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT).

Photo courtesy of Reuters. 

  • John Doe

    Is there information available on the voting pattern prior to the Harper government?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1796043988 Ioana Sendroiu

    It is interesting to see whether the Harper government has taken a radically different stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than prior (Liberal) Canadian governments.

    I did some quick research and looked at the Canadian vote on the resolution for “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources.” This was adopted by the General Assembly in 2005, when Mr. Harper was still Leader of the Opposition. Canada voted Yes and the two countries that voted No were the US and Israel.

    This is obviously not unequivocal proof that things have changed under Harper, but I would argue that it’s suggestive of the general pattern (i.e., that we’re now much more Israel-friendly).

    • Sad but true

      The rigid response of the Harper government (e.g. Baird) in the aftermath of the inclusion of Palestine into UNESCO shows much has not changed.