NDP Pushes Liberals To Speak Out Against Trump’s Move To Recognize Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital
|The Huffington Post 06 Dec 2017 at 16:59|
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland confirmed Canada s embassy will stay in Tel Aviv and that the federal government s approach to the Mideast is unchanged. Freeland said Canada remains a friend and ally to both Israel and the Palestinian people.
"Canada s longstanding position is that the status of Jerusalem can be resolved only as part of a general settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute," she said in a statement.
Still, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh told reporters in Ottawa Wednesday that the prime minister should be telling Trump that his decision will not move the needle towards peace.
"It s something that needs to be pointed out as being divisive," Singh said.
The NDP leader seemed to stop short, however, when asked if Trump s position ought to be denounced.
"Everyone who knows, everyone who s been working on this issue knows this is counterproductive," he said. "This is not going to advance justice. It s not going to advance unity. It s not going to advance peace. It is counterproductive and it should be called such."
Devastating day for peace: NDP critic
Hélène Laverdière, the NDP s foreign affairs critic, was perhaps more forceful on the issue. She took to Twitter to lament a "devastating day" for those who support peace in the Middle East and urged Canada to "condemn this decision in the strongest of terms."
Laverdière, a former diplomat, was also the only MP to raise the issue in question period. She called Trump s plan "dangerous and ill-advised," and said it runs counter to international law and United Nations resolutions.
"Where s Canada s voice to protest this decision?" she asked in French.
Matt DeCourcey, the parliamentary secretary to the foreign affairs minister, reiterated that the government is continuing the abiding position of past Liberal and Conservative governments on the issue.
"We are committed to sustainable peace in the region, including the creation of a Palestinian state living in security alongside Israel," DeCourcey said.
In 1979, then-prime minister Joe Clark to move Canada s embassy to Jerusalem after it sparked opposition, including from then-Liberal leader Pierre Trudeau.
Prior to Trump s announcement, CPAC dug into the archives to share a clip of Clark announcing that he accepted the recommendation from his Middle East ambassador Robert Stanfield that moving the embassy from Tel Aviv would "work against progress toward a just and lasting peace settlement."
From the archives – October 29, 1979:
Prime Minister Joe Clark abandons plan to move the Canadian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, citing ambassador Robert Stanfield s warning that the move might "work against progress toward a just and lasting peace settlement." pic.twitter.com/seD9mAFz04
Trump s announcement was immediately seen by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as a "withdrawal" of America s traditional role in the peace process.
And while Arab and Muslim leaders warned the decision could spur violence, Trump said Wednesday it was merely a "recognition of reality" that would actually move the peace process along.