Canada has given the Palestinian Authority over 700 million dollars in aid over the past ten years. So how was Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird welcomed during his visit to the West Bank last week? By Palestinians pelting his vehicle with eggs and shoes, holding signs reading “You are not welcome in Palestine,” and shouting insults at the Canadian diplomat.
The Palestinians are angry at Canada for having the common sense and moral integrity to vote down last month’s unilateral attempt to gain statehood through the U.N. Security Council. And when the Palestinian Authority joined the International Criminal Court (ICC) two weeks ago – where they are currently submitting charges against Israel for war crimes and crimes against humanity – Canada was one of the first nations to condemn the move.
Over the years – and especially under Stephen Harper’s leadership – Canada has been one of Israel’s staunchest allies. Yet they have gone to great measures not to turn their backs on the Palestinians or the prospect for peace.
While other democratic countries, especially those in Europe, have taken up the Palestinian cause to try and win favor with Arab countries, Canada has stood firmly on the side of truth, on the side of morality, and on the side of genuine peace – the side on which Israel stands and has always stood.
To win favor with Palestinians, it is not enough to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into projects aimed at improving their lives… their leadership’s attempts to strip Israel of its legitimacy and right to self-defense must be supported, as well. Canada – which supports a two-state solution, but demands the Palestinians offer peace in return for land, and not more intensified violence – is seen as the enemy.
After twenty years of “peace talks,” tens of billions of dollars in foreign aid, countless Israeli concessions and unilateral land withdrawals, the Palestinian public is even more radicalized and opposed to peace than they were before the whole peace process began.