February 27, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) stands opposed to Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer’s promise to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital if elected in 2019. Over the weekend, the Conservative Party website encouraged Canadians to sign up if they agree with Scheer that “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.” CJPME laments the Scheer’s disregard for international law and indifference to Israel’s human rights violations.
CJPME points out that Scheer’s Jerusalem statements breaks with decades of international consensus as well as official Canadian policy on Israel-Palestine, which has never recognized Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem. Following US President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly passed Resolution A/ES-10/L.22 in December which condemned Trump’s pronouncement seeking to alter the status of Jerusalem. Canada voted to abstain from this resolution. Nonetheless, long-standing international policy has been to defer decisions on Jerusalem to negotiations, and to avoid any unilateral steps which bias the outcome of negotiations. Scheer’s Jerusalem statement is out of touch with the international community, including Canada’s closest allies such as the UK, France, and Germany, all of whom voted to condemn Trump’s Jerusalem decree.
The Conservative Party website states, “Canada’s Conservatives recognize the obvious fact that Israel, like every other sovereign nation, has a right to determine where its capital is located.” CJPME considers this statement largely misleading, as it 1) disregards the Palestinians’ aspirations to sovereignty, 2) ignores Palestinians’ willingness to share Jerusalem as capital, 3) omits any mention of international law, and 4) misleads Canadians into believing that East Jerusalem is legally part of the Israeli state. CJPME President Thomas Woodley states, “Scheer’s announcement is provocative, one-sided, and confers a false legitimacy on Israel’s illegal activities in the occupied Palestinian territories. Like Trump, Scheer chooses to award Israel recognition of Jerusalem with no expectation of concessions, despite Israel’s decades-long occupation and poor human rights record.”
CJPME strongly agrees with the international community’s consensus that nations should refrain from recognizing West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital until Israel has reached a just peace settlement with the Palestinians. CJPME calls on the Canadian government to join the international community in condemning unilateral moves vis-à-vis Jerusalem.
About CJPME – Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is a non-profit and secular organization bringing together men and women of all backgrounds who labour to see justice and peace take root again in the Middle East. Its mission is to empower decision-makers to view all sides with fairness and to promote the equitable and sustainable development of the region.
For more information, please contact Miranda Gallo, 438-380-5410
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East www.cjpme.org
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