Status of Jerusalem: the Canada refrains from chiding the United States

Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez Agence France-Presse
The palestinian delegation to the united nations welcomed the resolution, approved by a large majority of countries, condemning the us decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Canada abstained from voting on a resolution condemning the us decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel — a text which has been adopted with an impressive majority in the united Nations.


The resolution on which Ottawa has preferred not to decide has been adopted by the general Assembly in the framework of an extraordinary session of emergency Thursday. It stipulated that the decision of the United States had no legal force and that it should be revoked.


It was approved by a large majority : representatives of 128 member States supported it, while 9 voted against (United States, Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, Togo, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and the Marshall islands), 35 abstained, and 21 did not vote.


Before the voting on the resolution, the us ambassador to the united Nations, Nikki Haley, was presented to the general Assembly to advise the other member States to inflict this blow to the government Trump.


“The United States will remember this day when they have been ostracized and attacked the general Assembly for the simple fact of having exercised their right as a sovereign nation “, she pestered.


“We remember it when we will be asked, once again, to make the largest global contribution to the united Nations,” threatened the representative american.


Canada, who covets a seat on the security Council of the united Nations, has chosen not to take a position in the cabinet un. After the vote, the canadian ambassador to the united Nations, Marc-André Blanchard, took the floor to explain the decision of Ottawa.


“We are disappointed that this resolution is unilateral and does not advance the peace to which we aspire ; this is why we have abstained today on the resolution “, he explained.


“The question of the status of Jerusalem can be resolved only within the framework of a comprehensive settlement of the israeli-palestinian conflict,” said Mr. Blanchard.


The Trudeau government has so far timidly reprobate the decision of the us president, Donald Trump, to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move there later the embassy of the United States, which currently has a storefront in Tel Aviv.


A little earlier this week, after a bilateral meeting with his american counterpart, Rex Tillerson, the minister of foreign Affairs, asked by chrystia Freeland, had refused to denounce explicitly the position of the United States.

The impression it will leave in many countries is that Canada did not get up, that Canada has been timid
The new democrat mp Hélène Laverdière

When it was reported that the canadian position on the question was fuzzy, she had not wanted to further clarify. “Canada and the United States have different positions “, had been content to offer as a response, the diplomat-in-chief of Canada, alongside the us secretary of State in the foyer of the House of commons in Ottawa, Tuesday.


“We always have discussions candid and direct “, she added.


Canada has been ” timid “


According to the mp néodémocrate Hélène Laverdière, Canada’s decision to refrain is “maybe a little less worse” than the record of the votes that put “often” Canada “all alone with the United States, Israel and a couple of small countries” on the issues of the middle East.


On the other hand, ” the impression it will leave in many countries is that Canada did not get up, that Canada has been timid “, she dropped in an interview with The canadian Press.


“And I think it will hinder the candidature of Canada for a seat on the security Council “, said the elected, of montreal.


Because if the liberals continue the “tradition of voting” conservatives on the israeli-palestinian question, they are likely to “continue to look a bit the lap dog of the United States” and alienating a bloc of countries, including its european allies, believes Ms. Laverdière.


The conservative Party had not yet communicated its response to the canadian abstention at the time of publishing these lines, on Thursday in the late afternoon. The training promised, two weeks ago, to formulate a clear position and clear to the decision of Donald Trump.


The advisory Centre of the relations of jewish and israeli (CIJA), it would be “preferred” to see Canada register a vote against the resolution.


This would have helped to send a clear signal that Ottawa “rejects the continuing efforts to use the united Nations as a platform to attack, delegitimize, denigrate and isolate Israel,” said by way of a press release the president of the organization, David Cape.


If the vote of the general Assembly constitutes a victory substantial “for the Palestinians, they” expected more “, stated in an interview that Sami Aoun, professor at the School of applied politics at the University of Sherbrooke.


The refusal of the 35 countries of rule, combined with the fact that 21 other nations have not taken part in the election, has, however, deprived of a gain, even more substantial — in more prove to what extent there had been “an embarrassment” around this resolution, noted the political scientist.