Canada must join European allies in recognizing Palestinian statehood

Montreal, May 23, 2024 Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) calls for Canada to follow the lead of its European allies Spain, Norway and Ireland, and recognize an independent Palestinian state.  The three European countries noted that Palestinian independence cannot hinge on a negotiated peace agreement with Israel which has, for decades, undermined frameworks for Palestinian self-determination, while continuously violating Palestinian human rights.  CJPME points out that Canada’s traditional position of waiting for a “negotiated two-state solution” has long proven to be counterproductive, and has given Israel every incentive to dither undermine efforts for Palestinian liberation and dignity.  CJPME is highly critical of the Trudeau government’s refusal to join its European allies in this strategic step

“Palestine has long met the criteria necessary to be recognized as a state by the UN,” asserted Thomas Woodley, President of CJPME.  Even prior to this week’s announcement from Spain, Norway and Ireland, 139 countries had already recognized Palestinian statehood.  “If the Trudeau government were honest with support for a ‘two-state solution,’ it would have no problem recognizing a Palestinian state,” continued Woodley.  CJPME has long pressured the Canadian government to recognize an independent Palestinian state, since Palestine applied for statehood at the UN in 2012, and earlier.  For example, CJPME was a vocal supporter of the opposition day motion in March which, prior to being amended, called for the recognition of an independent Palestinian state.

CJPME notes that the Montevideo Convention of 1933 outlined the four criteria required to establish and independent sovereign state.  The criteria are 1) a permanent population, 2) a defined territory, 3) a government, and 4) the capacity to conduct international relations. CJPME points out that between the Palestinian people, the territory of Palestine, and the Palestinian Authority, there can be no argument that the criteria are not met.  CJPME is happy to see that many members of Parliament, including many members of the Liberal caucus, have voiced their support for the recognition of an independent Palestine.

“The Trudeau government can no longer be excused for mealy-mouthed and equivocal statements on the question of Palestinian statehood,” asserted Woodley.  “The Trudeau government seems to want to pretend that the status quo of Israeli occupation, apartheid, genocide is acceptable, but this has never been the case,” continued Woodley.  In support of his country’s recognition of Palestinian, Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris stated, “Recognition is an act of powerful political and symbolic value.”  CJPME urgently calls Canada to echo Ireland’s call, which Harris says was taken “to offer hope and encouragement to the people of Palestine at one of their darkest hours.”

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 or [email protected].

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East

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