Thursday, June 18, 2020

Hard to Argue with Al Jazeera On This One

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.


Northern PoV said...

Canada is either in hiding or actively supporting the US pirates around the world atm. Added to our disgraceful record on Israeli war crimes and our support for the Saudi killers, are our warmongering/cowardly policies on

and China
(tRump makes a farce of 'international law' & puts sanctions on ICC members for doing their jobs. Why are we abetting the Meng witch hunt?)

Anonymous said...

Canada was signing up to be just another vote from Washington. And the last thing the UNSC needs is another "honesty broker" like the US. For the sake of international human rights, I'm glad the vacancy will go to a more ethical, responsible and independent country.


Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more NPoV. And not a drop of commentary about our foul behaviour in our media. We just repeat the CIA/State press releases about who the bad guys are in Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela and Bolivia, I've been anti-Freeland from the start, after they booted out Dion for not being willing to tell lies and put her in his place. A progressive she is not, in my opinion, but a US Democrat of the Killery/UK Bellingcat persuasion - correct on most things so they can present a whopper now and then and be believed. She cannot visit Russia because she's persona non grata. Just the job for being top diplomat and deputy PM.

We also manage to cheese off the Chinese, and those people don't play around with little fart countries like us. Rule of law? The police break our laws wih impunity, administering racist assaultive beatings. No wonder the Chinese can't work out why we won't let Meng go. They know we are as guilty of brushing off state crime when it suits us as they are. So now they're really putting the boot in to make us get off the pot of our holy sanctimoniousness.

Of course, overseas, nobody has to watch CBC's intrepid reporters venture into war-torn or socialist areas and deliberately ask the wrong people questions, then present the result as if 100% of the population were 100% in agreement of our government line. Syria and Venezuela are my favourites for the building of outright BS.

So after being shown the door at the UNSC, the reasons we are fed domestically for losing the seat vote are horse manure dreamed up by someone at Global Affairs, probably an ex GM PR person or someone like that earning a very good crust inventing fairytales on cue. Then Trudeau repeats them at CV-19 daily press conferences with all the blather he can muster, which is considerable.


The Disaffected Lib said...

Spot on, BM. Listening to the spin after JT didn't get his seat on the UNSC was positively dizzying. Stomach churning drivel.

Purple library guy said...

Al Jazeera actually missed one example: NATO's annexation of Kosovo from Serbia. Which Russia actually cited as a precedent.
But the general point is well taken.