United Nations has recognized Palestine as non-member state

On 29 November 2012, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed an historic resolution upgrading the Palestinian Territories to the status of a non-member observer state. This move by the UNGA to recognize Palestinian statehood is seen by many as an important and positive step towards peace in the region.

At the General Assembly, 138 nations voted in favour of the resolution and 41 abstained. Canada, the United States, and seven other nations voted against it.

Outskirts of East Jerusalem, Occupied Palestinian Territories. Middle right: Separation Wall and Israeli Ma’ale Adumim settlement.

By recognizing Palestinian statehood, the UN has helped level the playing field and balance negotiations between Israel and Palestine towards a successful peace process.While the Government of Canada’s vote against Palestine’s resolution is consistent with recent actions that have involved adopting positions that favour the Government of Israel, it contradicts the official Canadian policy that is “committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel.”

In fact, over the last several years the Government of Canada’s actions have done little to further its official policy. By defending Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza blockade, and by supporting Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian territory, the Canadian government has contributed to the acceleration of a process towards a one-state scenario in which Israel controls all the land and resources, and where Palestinians are relegated to being subservient, second class inhabitants.

A genuine commitment by the Canadian government to its two-state policy, which is also KAIROS’ policy, should have translated into support for Palestine’s move to establish a peaceful state alongside Israel,  objection to the expansion of Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory, and an acknowledgement that this expansion is the main factor in the refusal of Palestinians to re-enter negotiations.

For more information on KAIROS positions on Israel and Palestine, and the work of our five partners in the region, please contact John Lewis, International Human Rights Program Coordinator at jlewis@kairoscanada.org or 1 877 403 8933 x 224.


Filed in: Middle East


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