On Tuesday morning, I set out for Jerusalem to meet with fellow Canadians, Debbie, Dean and Zoe, to plan for our meeting with an aide to the ambassador, Kristin, from the Canadian Embassy in Tel Aviv and Sandra from the Consulate office in Ramallah. Debbie had made the arrangements and we put together an agenda and presentation. They arrived shortly after 11 and after introductions, we each gave a synopsis and showed a photos of the situations in our different areas. Zoe is in the Jayyus area, Dean in Bethlehem, Debbie in Jerusalem and I represented the South Hebron Hills. So the challenges are a bit different in each area. Kristin was very aware of what is going on and reports to the gov’t of Canada on the situation here. We had tried to meet with the ambassador but we had no response and so Kristin came in her stead. From what we had read about the ambassador and also from reading her tweets, we knew there would be no meeting of the minds there. See article or check out her tweets.
Below is an overview of Canada’s policy on Israel/Palestine put together by Zoe. It is very balanced. We call on our officials to uphold the position of Parliament.
– Canada supports the creation of a sovereign, independent, viable, democratic and territorially contiguous Palestinian state, as part of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace settlement– Canada is committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel.– Canada has played a prominent role in the search for a viable and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian refugee issue– The Fourth Geneva Convention applies in the occupied territories and establishes Israel’s obligations as an occupying power, in particular with respect to the humane treatment of the inhabitants of the occupied territories.– As referred to in UN Security Council Resolutions 446 and 465, Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The settlements also constitute a serious obstacle to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.– Canada opposes Israel’s construction of the barrier inside the West Bank and East Jerusalem which are occupied territories.– Canada also opposes the expropriations and the demolition of houses and economic infrastructure carried out for this purpose.– We support resolutions that are consistent with Canadian policy on the Middle East, are rooted in international law– Canada advocates a fair-minded approach and rejects one-sided resolutions and any politicization of the issues.– Canada believes that the United Nations and its member states have a responsibility to contribute constructively to efforts to resolve the Israeli-Arab conflict.
We give aid for some projects in Palestine but aid is not what is needed. The Palestinians want respect and equal and full civic rights. They want justice and the freedom to provide for themselves.
After the meeting we had lunch to discuss how it went and what we thought may have been accomplished. Then I returned to Yatta.