…Nowhere has this been truer than in the Middle East.
The Conservatives have tried to turn our policy into a wedge issue, to divide Canadians. But the foreign policy debate in Canada should not be about who is Israel’s best friend. It should be about how we bring peace and security to Israelis, Palestinians, and the region.
For fifty years, until the Conservatives took over, Canada’s policy in the Middle East had been consistent and clear. We support a two-state solution. A safe, secure and democratic Israel, beside a viable, secure and democratic Palestinian state. Two states for two peoples – that is Canada’s position.
We have never compromised our commitment to peace. We have never been neutral between terrorists and democratic states. Equally, we have defended the rights of two peoples to have a state and live in peace.
We have been a friend to Israel – and also a friend to the Palestinians. But our friends need friends who have friends.
Think what we could have done as a member of the UN Security Council. We could have stopped the parade of one-sided resolutions, restored balance to human rights monitoring, and pushed for tougher sanctions against Iran – which remains the single biggest threat to the entire Middle East.
Instead, Stephen Harper turned foreign policy into a tool of domestic politics – and now Canada will spend the next decade on the sidelines.
We can return to the field. We can lead again. We can rebuild Canada’s leadership on the world stage – and we can begin with a new commitment to multilateralism…