Canada will not support U.N. statehood bid by Palestinians


TORONTO (JTA) — Canada will not support the Palestinian effort at the United Nations to win statehood.

"Our government’s long-standing position has not changed," Chris Day, the spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, told the Toronto Star Tuesday. "The only solution to this conflict is one negotiated between and agreed to by the two parties. "One of the states must be a Jewish state and recognized as such, while the Palestinian state is to be a non-militarized one."

The Palestinians’ unilateral bid for independence is expected to be voted on at the United Nations in September. More than 100 countries reportedly will support the bid.

The Canadian declaration is not surprising given that Prime Minister Stephen Harper often has voiced staunchly pro-Israel views.

At the G-8 meeting in May, a reference to the 1967 lines as the basis for a future border for Israel was removed at Canada’s request. The reference was blocked from the final communique.

Day pointed out that the G-8 leaders have declared that "unilateral action [by Palestinians] is ultimately unhelpful."

In a statement, the World Jewish Congress applauded Canada’s stance as "principled." It urged other U.N. member states "to follow suit."

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