I missed this one yesterday. While Canada was still in the running for a seat on the UN Security Council, Al Jazeera explained why we didn't deserve it.
Not too long ago, Canada was considered a champion for human rights and international law. The North American country was often seen, in contrast to its southern neighbour, the United States, as a stalwart defender of the rights of the oppressed, as well as a faithful supporter of international humanitarian and refugee organisations.
Canada's liberal legislation required that the executive branch impose sanctions against countries known to be human rights violators. Canada also had a supportive, welcoming policy on political asylum.
These policies, however, were eroded under Stephen Harper's Conservative government. And, despite expectations to the contrary, this erosion has not been reversed in the last four years under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government.
Nowhere is Canada's retreat from liberal values clearer than in the case of Palestine.
For the last 20 years, Ottawa has been slavishly following the lead of Washington on issues related to Palestine at the UN. Since 2000, it voted "No" to 166 different General Assembly resolutions on Palestine.
By contrast, the two countries that are competing with Canada for a UNSC seat in this rotation - Ireland and Norway - both have a consistently different position on issues pertaining to Palestine.
During Trudeau's time in power, Canada supported only one pro-Palestinian resolution at the General Assembly. It repeatedly chose to stand against nations' attempts to condemn Israel for its human rights violations and illegal settlements, and support Palestinians' struggle for rights and self-determination.
In November 2018, during an official visit to Israel, Canada's then Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland openly said that she hopes securing a seat at the UNSC would allow Canada to serve as an "asset for Israel".
...The entire international legal system has been based on nations respecting national frontiers and rejecting any attempt by any country to change them unilaterally. Since the end of World War II, there have only been three attempts to violate this principle. The first was the attempt by Iraq to annex Kuwait as its 19th governate. The second was Russia's annexation of Crimea. And the third was Israel's annexation first of East Jerusalem, then the Golan, and now portions of the West Bank.
Until recently, these attempts were met with near-universal condemnation. But in the last few years, the Trump administration appeared to give the green light to such violations by Israel. This has opened a Pandora's box, and invited chaos to the international arena, as many countries across the world are in a position to claim historic rights, security interests or other needs to annex lands from their neighbours.
The issue is not whether Canada is "pro-Israeli" or "pro -Palestinian". The issue is whether it continues to believe in international law, or whether it is now as openly disdainful and contemptuous of it as its southern neighbour.