Canada Parliament Votes After Palestinian Statehood Language Is Removed

In line with the government's position, the Canadian parliament just approved a non-binding resolution late Monday promoting a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine issue.

The ruling Liberal Party's internal tensions were on full display as last-minute talks over language backing Palestinian statehood caused this motion to suffer delays. The left-leaning minority party known as the New Democrats (NDP) first put forward the resolution, which was meant to attack Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's administration for what they saw as their failure to adequately safeguard people in Gaza.

The revised motion, which also condemned the Palestinian militant group Hamas, garnered support from most Liberal cabinet members and caucus, including Jewish Liberal MP Ya’ara Saks. Nevertheless, some Liberal MPs, such as Anthony Housefather, Ben Carr, and Marco Mendicino, opposed it. Initially, the motion called for Canada to formally recognize the State of Palestine, a step not taken by any G7 nation. However, after negotiations between the NDP and Liberals, the wording was revised to advocate for a Palestinian state through a two-state solution.

Despite the changes, both Liberal and opposition MPs criticized the abrupt alteration in wording, demanding a debate on the matter. Additionally, last month, Canada announced a suspension of non-lethal military exports to Israel since January, indicating a shift in its stance towards Israel's military actions in Gaza. Trudeau, while affirming Israel's right to self-defense, has increasingly criticized Israel's military campaign in Gaza following Hamas's attack on Israel in October.

The original motion called for a suspension of all military trade with Israel, an immediate ceasefire, and an end to illegal arms transfers to Hamas. These developments underscored internal divisions within the Liberal caucus over policy towards Gaza, with some backbench MPs supporting and others opposing the motion. Israeli Ambassador Iddo Moed expressed concern over the original motion, warning that it could escalate violence and undermine peace efforts. However, with the revised motion passed, Canada has joined the chorus of international voices advocating for a peaceful resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict through a two-state solution.

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