Israel‘s right to exist within defined and secure borders has been a foundation of both Canadian foreign policy and that of the Liberal Party for nearly 60 years.
This commitment began with the support of Canada’s then Liberal government of Israel’s admission to the United Nations (UN) in 1948. Canada’s subsequent careful scrutiny of UN General Assembly resolutions and our traditional refusal to support resolutions that are primarily intended to single out Israel for discriminatory treatment must continue. The integrity of Canada’s reputation at the UN will only be maintained by supporting resolutions rooted in international law. Those resolutions must constructively contribute to the goal of a negotiated two-state solution and which reflect the values and principles that Canadians want to promote on the world stage.
Canadian diplomats should continue to build on Canada’s longstanding efforts to recommend an alternative peace process, which will end divisiveness and strengthen the relevance and integrity of the UN. As was stated in Canada’s statement to the 2005 UN General Assembly Plenary, “this alternative process should be based upon, an inclusive and thorough resolution on the peace process – free of divisive rhetoric, accurate, detailed in approach an balanced in outcome.”
The Liberal Party is also committed to building a growing economic relationship between Canada and Israel. On January 1, 1997, the Liberal government of the day was proud to bring the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA) into effect, removing tariffs from most manufactured products. While Canada and Israel have historically had strong commercial relations, this agreement has generated significant business opportunities for Canadian’s to compete in this growing and dynamic market.
The relationship between Canada and Israel is epitomized by the deep bonds of friendship and family ties that have strengthened the labour and human rights communities in both our countries and changed the lives and hopes of thousands of young people around the world.
Of course Canadian Jews have been at the heart of this relationship, but Canada’s support for the idea of Israel and its affirmation of human values has found deep resonance across religious and cultural communities.
That is why the Liberal policy on Israel and the Middle East is based on the following core principles. To that end we will continue to:
– proudly support, as a cornerstone of our foreign policy, the right of Israel to exist in peace and security;
– call for a two-state solution, of an independent and democratic Palestine alongside an independent and democratic Israel;
– support the right of Israel, like any other state, to be free from threats or acts of force;
– condemn terrorism – from whatever source, for whatever purpose, in whatever form;
– support the push for democracy, human rights, good governance and the rule of law throughout the Middle East;
– push for fairness in the United Nations General Assembly, where one-sided resolutions serve neither peace nor the UN; and
– to combat racism, anti-Semitism, hatred and intolerance.
When Israel’s right to exist is threatened, it is an attack on the values of every democracy.
It is in this context that Israel’s fight for existence is our fight; her struggle for peace and security is our struggle.