Will Canada recognize Palestine as a state?

As the conflict in the Middle East bogs down, the Trudeau government will have to take a position on the recognition of the State of Palestine on Monday evening.

A New Democratic Party (NDP) motion tabled in the House on Monday calls on the government to adopt a series of measures in response to the war between Israel and Hamas, including “officially recognizing the State of Palestine” and “pleading[ant] for the end of the occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Currently, 139 of the 193 member states of the United Nations recognize the State of Palestine. Canada is not one of them.

The motion fiercely divided MPs in Ottawa even before the vote was taken on Monday during the day.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, believes that the motion is “not flawless”, but that it remains “important”. Asked twice about the position the government would take during the vote, the minister was evasive.

“Our position is clear, it is the position of many G7 countries. We need an agreement to release the hostages, and an agreement for a humanitarian ceasefire and the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza,” she replied, before passing the buck to the Conservative Party .

Strong reactions

Liberal MPs, such as MP of Pakistani origin Salma Zahid, have already indicated their intention to support the motion. Conversely, Anthony Housefather, elected from Montreal, declared that the motion calls for a list of measures “hostile to Israel”.

Conservative MP Mélissa Lantsman, for her part, considered that the NDP motion was “highly irresponsible”. “This motion does not demand accountability from Hamas, does not demand that Hamas lay down its arms or release the hostages,” she decried in the House.

The text of the motion calls for the release of all hostages and for the government to “redouble its efforts to put an end to the illegal arms trade, particularly arms intended for Hamas.”

The Bloc Québécois and the Green Party of Canada both said they would support the motion Monday evening. Last month, the leader of the Bloc Québécois, Yves-François Blanchet, had already stated that he was in favor.

Hours before the vote was held, Israel’s ambassador to Canada, Iddo Moed, declared that “the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state rewards Hamas for its sadistic attack on October 7.”

The United States and several Arab allies are working on a comprehensive plan to establish lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace after the end of the war, including a timetable for the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez recently announced that he would propose to Parliament to vote in favor of recognizing the Palestinian state by the end of his term in 2027.

“It is high time that Canada joins these allied countries,” declared NDP foreign affairs critic Heather McPherson during a long speech in the House.

The vote on the motion, which is non-binding, is scheduled for Monday around 7:30 p.m.

Canadian armored vehicles

Last week, Radio-Canada reported that Ottawa was voluntarily leaving pending a request to export armored vehicles manufactured in Canada intended for the Israeli government.

“Given the rapidly evolving situation on the ground, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not granted any permits since January 8 since we have not been able to confirm respect for human rights and compliance criteria. our export regime,” explained Minister Joly in her speech in the House on Monday.

More details will follow.

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