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Canada Trudeau says UN vote not a shift in Canada's 'steadfast' support for Israel

07:05  10 december  2019
07:05  10 december  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says a recent vote to support a UN resolution endorsing Palestinian self-determination is not a shift in Canada's policy against singling out Israel for criticism on the international stage.

Trudeau made the remarks Monday at a menorah lighting on Parliament Hill, where about 100 parliamentarians and members of the Jewish community gathered to mark the upcoming Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.

Trudeau says he met before the event with Jewish community leaders who expressed their concerns about the United Nations vote in late November.

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Canada ’ s votes on Dec. 3 came on the heels of an abrupt and unexpected shift in its position at the UN on one resolution last month Some observers, including Hillel Neuer, the executive director of UN Watch, charged that Canada had made a Faustian bargain by trading its support for Israel to curry

He says he heard similar concerns from other parties and from members of his own caucus.

The resolution was part of a group of motions brought every year at the United Nations which critics say single out Israel for the ongoing conflict with Palestinians.

For more than a decade, Canada has voted against the resolutions but Trudeau says Canada felt it had to change course on that one resolution, in order to emphasize its support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"I hear you," Trudeau told those gathered around the menorah. "I understand that many of you were alarmed by this decision. The government felt that it was important to reiterate its commitment to a two-states-for-two-peoples solution at a time when its prospects appear increasingly under threat.

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Trudeau also said Canada ' s abstention from a UN vote on U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel 's capital was about staying above "political games" aimed "This idea of using votes in the United Nations to isolate or condemn Israel is not productive in international relations.

Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience. During Friday's Question Period in the House of Commons on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed Canada ’ s relationship with Israel , stating that the country is committed to the goal of “lasting peace” with Middle Eastern countries.

"But let me be very clear. Our enduring friendship with Israel remains. We will continue to stand strongly against the singling out of Israel at the UN. Canada remains a steadfast supporter of Israel and Canada will always defend Israel's right to live in security. And we will always, always, speak up against anti-Semitism at home and abroad. You have my word."

Canada was roundly criticized for the November vote by Israel, the United States and many within Canada, with several critics accusing Canada of voting with the majority in order to secure a UN Security Council seat next year.

Canada returned to its practice of voting against other resolutions critical of Israel in votes taken this month.

At the menorah lighting, Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer both denounced recent incidents of anti-Semitism aimed at Jewish students at York University, the University of Toronto and McGill University.

"They were made to feel uncomfortable because of their identity, because of their support of Israel," Trudeau said.

"Calling into question Israel's right to exist or the right of Jewish people to self-determination is promoting anti-Semitism and that's unacceptable. We will never, ever be silent in the face of such acts. Hatred has no place in Canada and we will continue to condemn it."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 9, 2019.

The Canadian Press

Trudeau accused of breaking promise to stand by Israel, following vote on UN resolution .
Trudeau accused of breaking promise to stand by Israel, following vote on UN resolution Canada faced an angry backlash in November when it first voted in support of a controversial UN resolution co-sponsored by North Korea, Zimbabwe and others. It condemned Israel as the “occupying power in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem” and said Israel’s actions impede the right of the “Palestinian people to self-determination.

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