Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
United Nations

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, the leader of the Palestinian Authority confirmed what had long been rumoured: the Palestinians intend to seek full membership and state recognition at the United Nations during this week’s general assembly meetings.

I was proud to hear the Prime Minister say a very short time later that Canada would vote against such a move, calling it “not helpful” to the cause of peace. This is an attempt to circumvent the negotiation process. It will make a resumption of peace talks more difficult, raise expectations, yet not change the facts on the ground or improve lives and could lead to heightened frustrations. The result could be mass demonstrations or even another intifada. This will only contribute to regional instability.

Our government believes the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is through negotiations between the parties. It is our hope negotiations can resume as soon as possible.

I am confident the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs will make Canada’s views widely known in New York this week. Hon. members should be prepared to consider all options if this unilateral action succeeds.