CJPME Welcomes NDP Motion to Recognize Palestinian Statehood

Montreal, February 13, 2024 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) welcomes the NDP motion calling on the Canadian government to recognize the State of Palestine, and urges all Members of Parliament to support it. CJPME notes that Palestinian statehood is already recognized by 139 countries, and Palestine has non-member observer status at the United Nations. CJPME believes that Israel must not hold veto power over Palestinian aspirations of self-determination, and the NDP motion is a step in this direction. CJPME believes that recognition of statehood would support Palestinians in their ability to access justice in international forums like the International Criminal Court (ICC), but warns that symbolic recognition must be accompanied by concrete measures to force Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories (OPT).

“Canada should have recognized Palestinian statehood years ago. By waiting for Israel’s permission before taking action, Canada has allowed Israel to hold the aspirations of Palestinians hostage,” said Michael Bueckert, Vice President of CJPME. “Nonetheless, recognition will not bring an end to Israel’s control over the occupied Palestinian territories. Whether the desired outcome is a ‘two-state solution’ or a single state with equal rights, advancing Palestinian self-determination requires the imposition of pressure that can force Israel to relinquish control,” added Bueckert.

CJPME argues that although Palestine’s statehood status would be largely symbolic, it would nonetheless provide Palestinians with greater access to legal mechanisms to advocate for their rights on the international stage. For example, Canada’s non-recognition of Palestinian statehood is the principal reason that it has opposed an investigation by the ICC into allegations of war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories. If Canada recognized the State of Palestine, CJPME argues that this would remove an unnecessary barrier and help ensure that Palestinians have equitable access to justice through institutions including the ICC.

However, CJPME cautions that the recognition of statehood would not in itself create a viable and sovereign state, nor would it bring an end to Israel’s occupation of the OPT. In fact, it is widely believed that Israel has effectively killed the possibility of an independent Palestinian state through decades of deliberate policy. CJPME believes that Canada must be open to the possibility of a future in which Palestinians and Israelis share equal rights within a single democratic state. Regardless, this is a question that is up to the Palestinians themselves to decide.

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 Michael Bueckert, VP CJPME, 613-315-7947

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East www.cjpme.org

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