Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauReuters

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), B’nai Brith Canada and Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) on Thursday expressed deep disappointment with the Canadian government’s decision to vote in favor of a UN General Assembly resolution that affirms Palestinian self-determination, while failing to affirm Jewish self-determination in the indigenous and ancestral homeland of the Jewish people and intentionally erasing historical Jewish connections to Jerusalem. 

“In its Explanation of Vote (EOV), Canada detailed the many shortcomings of this resolution, and the unfair targeting of Israel – yet Canada then proceeded to vote in favor of the text. That decision is not only contradictory, it flies in the face of Canada’s principled opposition to other resolutions in the unbalanced Question of Palestine basket of resolutions that are tabled annually at the UN General Assembly. We must ask ourselves: does support for this resolution bring us any closer to a durable and sustaining peace?” observed Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada.

Michael Levitt, President and CEO of FSWC, said, “We are dismayed by Canada’s decision to undermine its longstanding policy of rejecting one-sided and prejudicial anti-Israel resolutions at the UN. By supporting this resolution, Canada is providing ammunition to those who seek to delegitimize and demonize the State of Israel, which ultimately sets back the prospects for peace in the region.”

Shimon Koffler Fogel, CIJA President and CEO, said, “The Government of Canada has now doubled down on its incomprehensible support for a resolution that simply expands the anti-Israel narrative within the United Nations system – an aberration in the voting pattern established and re-affirmed by successive Canadian governments for almost two decades until the Liberal government changed its vote last year. Notwithstanding other praiseworthy initiatives, including the Security Infrastructure Program and the renewal and expansion of the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement, this vote will undermine the Jewish community’s confidence in this Government – its willingness to stand by its principles as they relate to Israel, as well as its relationship with the Jewish community here in Canada.”

Earlier this week, the three Jewish organizations joined together in formally writing to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, urging the Government of Canada to return to its principled and unequivocal opposition to the annual United Nations General Assembly basket of resolutions entitled "The Question of Palestine."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Foreign Minister John Baird accelerated that process and adopted a policy of uniform rejection of all resolutions in the Question of Palestine resolutions tabled annually at the UN General Assembly.

Under the leadership of Trudeau, the Government of Canada entrenched this policy during his first term in Government from 2015-2019.

Last year, Canada abruptly reversed course on "the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination" during a preliminary vote in the UN committee which deals with human rights issues.

It later voted again in favor of the resolution, which was endorsed by 167 nations. 11 countries abstained, and five voted against it including Israel, the United States, Australia, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia.

Trudeau has expressed support for Israel but has also renewed funding to UNRWA, the UN agency for “Palestinian refugees” that was frozen during Harper’s time in office.

He has called for a probe of Gaza violence while failing to mention Hamas’ role in the violence.