Canada now effectively supports the continued annexation of the West Bank by Israel--a direct violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, according to which this is a war crime. Ethnic cleansing of Palestinian territory continues, and we have no problem with that.
We stood alone at the UN last week against opposition to this action. This is what Harper's mouthpiece there had to say:
TERRY CORMIER (Canada), speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that maintenance and expansion of settlements on territories confiscated by Israel since 1967 was a violation of international law. Canada was concerned about the draft resolution as it was not balanced and did not refer to the Palestinian obligation, which did not contribute to a peaceful and fair solution to the conflict. For those reasons Canada called for a vote and would vote against the draft resolution.
Even for dip-doublespeak, this should take some kind of prize. The resolution dealt with Israel's on-going annexation of Palestinian territory. What "obligation" does Palestine have in this affair--except to fight back?
In a resolution (A/HRC/10/L.5) on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan , adopted by a vote of 46 in favour, one against, and no abstentions, as orally revised, the Council deplores the recent Israeli announcements of the construction of new housing units for Israeli settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, as they undermine the peace process and the creation of a contiguous, sovereign and independent Palestinian State; expresses grave concern at, inter alia, the continuing Israeli settlement and related activities; the increasing number of newly built structures amounting in 2008 to 1,257; the implications for the final status negotiations of Israel's announcement that it will retain the major settlement blocks in the Occupied Palestinian Territory; the expansion of Israeli settlements and the construction of new ones on the Occupied Palestinian Territory rendered inaccessible behind the wall, which create a fait accompli on the ground that could be tantamount to de facto annexation; the continued closures of and within the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the repeated closures of the crossing points of the Occupied Gaza Strip; the continued construction, contrary to international law, of the wall inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory; and the latest Israeli plan to demolish more than 88 houses in Al-Bustan neighbourhood at Silwan which will be resulting in displacing more than 1,500 Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem. The Council urges Israel, the occupying Power, to reverse the settlement policy in the occupied territories as a first step towards their dismantlement, to stop immediately the expansion of the existing settlements, including "natural growth" and related activities; urges the full implementation of the Access and Movement Agreement of 15 November 2005, particularly the urgent reopening of the Rafah and Karni crossings; calls upon Israel to take and implement serious measures, including confiscation of arms and enforcement of criminal sanctions, with the aim of preventing acts of violence by Israeli settlers; and urges the parties to give renewed impetus to the peace process in line with the Annapolis Peace Conference and the Paris International Donors' Conference for the Palestinian State and to implement fully the road map endorsed by the Security Council in its resolution 1515 (2003).
The result of the vote were as follows:
In favour (46): Angola, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh,
Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chile,
China, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, India,
Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius,
Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar,
Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovakia,
Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay
Against (1): Canada.
Kind of makes you proud to be a Canadian, eh?