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Canada’s Foreign Minister Supports Israel in UN Speech

Canada's Foreign Minister said in his address to the UN that his country "will not accept or stay silent" while Israel is attacked.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 9/28/2011, 7:17 AM

The UN General Assembly this past week has been replete with anti-Israel speeches such as the ones made by the leaders of Iran, Turkey and, of course, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ speech in which he accused Israel of having “occupied Palestinian lands” for 63 years.

But there was one nation that once again showed its strong and unequivocal support for the state of Israel - Canada.

In his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird reiterated his country’s position regarding Israel and the PA’s unilateral statehood bid.

“We supported the aspirations of those peoples who sought for themselves and their countries brighter futures during the Arab Spring that just passed,” Baird said, “but we will not go along with the unilateral actions of the Palestinian Authority.

“Just a few days ago, the Quartet laid the foundation for a return to negotiations,” Baird continued. “Our government’s position has been clear—the only solution to this issue is one that is negotiated by the two parties themselves.

“We continue to encourage both sides to accept these principles and return to direct talks based on a two state solution without delay or preconditions.”

He then emphasized, “We uphold Israel’s right to exist. We uphold its fundamental right, like any member state, to defend innocent civilians against acts of terrorism.

“Just as fascism and communism were the great struggles of previous generations, terrorism is the great struggle of ours,” Baird said. “And far too often, the Jewish state is on the front line of our struggle and its people the victims of terror.

“Canada will not accept or stay silent while the Jewish state is attacked for defending its territory and its citizens,” he added. “The Second World War taught us all the tragic price of ‘going along’ just to ‘get along.’”

Canada has been a long-time supporter of Israel and Prime Minister Stephen Harper made it clear last week that his country will staunchly back Israel against the PA’s attempt to secure unilateral recognition.

Harper met Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in New York last week. During the meeting, Netanyahu thanked Harper for his country’s support of Israel and said that Israel and Canada have “the same heart, the same values. And that I say with great appreciation — for your stance, for your conviction, for your friendship.”