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Arab World Angry With Canada PDF Print E-mail
Apr 04, 2007 at 11:13 PM

Palestinian Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti talks about his snub by Peter MacKay and how Canada should deal with his government.

By Christopher Guly
Embassy, April 4th, 2007

For Mustafa Barghouti, it was the snub felt throughout the Arab world. While in Ottawa last week, as part of a global peace tour sponsored by the Montreal-based NGO Alternatives, Action and Communication Network for International Development, the 53-year-old information minister in the new Palestinian unity government met with MPs from all four parties in the Commons, including Nova Scotia Conservative Bill Casey.

But the one huddle Dr. Barghouti hoped for with another Nova Scotia MP, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay, never happened. And the onetime Palestinian presidential candidate left Canada wondering whether Canada's heart is in the right place when it comes to Middle East issues.

Dr. Barghouti spoke to Embassy about the prospects for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, and what role Canada should be playing in this process. The following is an edited transcript of that conversation.

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Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Association founded PDF Print E-mail
Apr 03, 2007 at 12:00 AM
News Release
Ottawa, April 3, 2007

On the initiative of MPs Réal Ménard, Omar Alghabra and Libby Davies and the Honourable Senator Lucie Pépin, a Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Association was founded on February 21, 2007, in Ottawa. The following parliamentarians were elected to the Association’s executive:

  • Réal Ménard, Co-Chair, House of Commons
  • Lucie Pépin, Co-Chair, Senate
  • Omar Alghabra, Vice-President, House of Commons
  • Jean-Claude Rivest, Vice-President, Senate
  • Colleen Beaumier, Director
  • Christiane Gagnon, Director
  • Marcel Lussier, Director
  • Wayne Marston, Director
  • Ted Menzies, Director
  • Yasmin Ratansi, Director
  • Libby Davies, Secretary-Treasurer

The executive held its first meeting on March 21, 2007. The first task for its members is to fill the positions currently available on its executive.

Réal Ménard noted that “The Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Association has the following objectives: to foster discussion between Palestinian and Canadian parliamentarians; to suggest initiatives to foster a better understanding of issues of interest to both countries; to ensure that Canada’s foreign policy for the Middle East is in the best interests of the Palestinian people; to suggest measures contributing to fair and lasting peace in the middle East; and finally, to support all measures conducive to the establishment of a viable and sovereign Palestinian state.”

For her part, Senator Lucie Pépin noted that “the Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Association will be a vital tool in fostering solidarity, dialogue and reflection on the status of the Palestinian people.” She also invited all parliamentarians to join the new association.

Canadian companies building illegal Israeli settlements PDF Print E-mail
Feb 25, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Planning council approves illegal West Bank building plan

By Akiva Eldar, Haaretz Correspondent
February 25, 2007

The Supreme Planning Council for Judea and Samaria recently legalized the largest-ever illegal construction project in the West Bank. Part of the project is situated on private land, which belongs to Palestinian residents of the village of Bil'in.

The project calls for the construction of 42 buildings containing approximately 1,500 apartments. The buildings, already in various stages of construction, are in the neighborhood of Matityahu East, which is located in the large ultra-Orthodox settlement of Modi'in Illit.

Peace Now and Bil'in residents filed a petition against the construction a week ago at the High Court of Justice.

About a year ago, following another petition by Peace Now and Bil'in residents, the High Court ordered a halt on the construction and occupation of the buildings.

Following an appeal to the State Prosecutor's Office, the National Fraud Squad opened an investigation into those involved in the affair. The neighborhood is being built by Green Park and Green Mount, companies registered in Canada, along with two other companies: Ein Ami and Hefziba.

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Clark raps Harper government on Mideast PDF Print E-mail
Feb 15, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Canadian Jewish News     February 15, 2007

By Janice Arnold
Staff Reporter

Montreal - Former prime minister Joe Clark pointedly criticized Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s stance on the Israeli-Arab conflict, saying the current Conservative government has put Canada’s “balanced and careful” Middle East foreign policy in jeopardy.

In a Jan. 31 address at McGill University, Clark said Harper made a “mistake” in making withdrawal of support from the Hamas-led Palestinian government his first major foreign policy action after taking office just over a year ago.

Clark also termed “ill-judged” Harper’s strongly pro-Israel position during Israel’s war against Hezbollah in Lebanon last summer.

Clark said he finds “troubling” the Conservative government’s “closeness to the foreign policies of the United States administration” to the exclusion of Canada’s interests in the rest of the world....

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Charitable Donations Fund Lobby Group PDF Print E-mail
Nov 10, 2004 at 12:00 AM
Check PM reaffirms support of Israel - CJN By: Diane Koven, Nov 10, 2004. Is the Council of Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA) a lobby group? The last paragraph of the article states that CIJA receives its funding from the United Israel Appeal. UIA is a registered charitable organization in Canada. As such, it is not supposed to engage in lobby work, but is it doing so by diverting some of its funds to CIJA?

Revenue Canada’s website indicates that one of the United Israel Appeal’s goals is to “support resettlement of new immigrants” to Israel. We have good reason to fear that new immigrants to Israel are being encouraged by the Israeli government in order to expand the illegal settlements.

Write to the Honourable Carol Skelton, the minister responsible for the Canada Revenue Agency, requesting that the charitable status of the United Israel Appeal be revoked as it is funding lobbying activities and supporting illegal (according to International Law) Israeli settlements.

You can write postage free to:

Hon. Carol Skelton,
House of Commons,
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
or e-mail to skelton.c@parl.gc.ca
Please bcc your e-mail to bcc@canpalnet-ottawa.org

Questions for Candidates prepared by CanPalNet Vancouver PDF Print E-mail
May 31, 2004 at 12:00 AM
Canadian Election Campaign June 2004
  1. Politicians such as Joe Volpe and Stephen Owen, members of Liberal Parliamentarians for Israel, and Stockwell Day, Conservative Party foreign affairs critic, want Canada to increase its support for Israel. They are mostly silent or critical when it comes to supporting the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people to end the illegal Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Official Canadian government policy, in concert with the United Nations, and a broad international consensus, supports the withdrawal of Israel from the West Bank and Gaza and the establishment of a Palestinian state along pre-1967 borders. Do you? Why?
     
  2. Liberal Parliamentarians for Israel also opposes recent UN resolutions condemning Israeli human rights violations in the West Bank and Gaza. These resolutions refer to Israel's policies of collective punishment, arbitrary imprisonment, home demolitions and extra-judicial killings (or assassinations). What will you and your party do to uphold Palestinian human rights?
     
  3. a) It is the inalienable right of every refugee to return to their native homeland. It is a right which cannot be negotiated away by any political entity. What is Canada's responsibility in helping to assure the right of return for Palestinian refugees?

    b) Tel Zultan, a refugee camp in Rafah, Gaza, received 2.6 million in aid from Canada between 2000 and 2002. In May 2004, the Israeli military killed 57 Palestinians and injured 200 others in Rafah, and destroyed 360 homes. Tel Zultan was one of the areas hit. What should Canada do to help Palestinian refugees in Rafah seek redress?

  4. a) It is the inalienable right of every refugee to return to their native homeland. It is a right which cannot be negotiated away by any political entity. What is Canada's responsibility in helping to assure the right of return for Palestinian refugees?

    b) Tel Zultan, a refugee camp in Rafah, Gaza, received 2.6 million in aid from Canada between 2000 and 2002. In May 2004, the Israeli military killed 57 Palestinians and injured 200 others in Rafah, and destroyed 360 homes. Tel Zultan was one of the areas hit. What should Canada do to help Palestinian refugees in Rafah seek redress?

  5. There is strong international condemnation of the building of the illegal Apartheid Wall in the Occupied Territories (the West Bank and Gaza Strip). Canada voted in October 2003 at the UN to oppose the Wall. Stockwell Day of the Conservative Party thinks it should be built and has denounced Canada's position. If elected, will you speak out against the building of this wall?
     
  6. a) Under the Geneva Conventions an occupying power is prohibited from settling its own people in the occupied territory. Israel has illegally settled over 400,000 settlers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. What would you do to see that the Geneva Conventions are upheld?

    b) Should registered Canadian charities be allowed to channel money to the Israeli settlement movement as they are doing currently?

    c) Should Canada allow goods produced in these illegal settlements to be sold in Canada?

Canadian Foreign Policy on the Middle East PDF Print E-mail
Jun 30, 2003 at 12:00 AM
Reflections on Permanent War and Palestine PDF Print E-mail
Aug 16, 2002 at 12:00 AM
by Mordecai Briemberg
August 16, 2002
[Published in issue #1 of OUR PAPER (Victoria) and last issue of ALARM (Vancouver)]

Years ago I remember hearing a radio report recounting memoirs of some private discussions that had taken place when Trudeau and Mitterand were players at the G-6 summits. Reagan then was U.S. president. Out of earshot, on the quiet margins of their meetings, the worldly Trudeau and Mitterand pondered over the "enigma" of this sometimes dozing, doltish figure named Reagan. But, they asked each other, despite all appearance, might he not be informed and intelligent after all? To pose this question was to reveal a deep need they (and we) have for reassurance that reason is an integral dimension of power. Apparently they decided, driven by their need for reassurance, that in the case of Reagan, appearance was deceiving.

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Background for Discussion on Canada's Foreign Policy - 2002 PDF Print E-mail
Jun 30, 2002 at 12:00 AM
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Does Baird even know what they are?

Israeli newspaper outlines Palestinian demands

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird has been actively supporting the "unconditional" ceasefire proposed by Netanyahu and backed by Egypt. While it appears "humanitarian", an unconditional ceasefire would mean going back to the status quo before the recent hostilities and continuing Israel's punishing blockade of Gaza. But has Baird even considered what the Palestinians are asking for? It's actually quite reasonable.

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