One of the UN ‘s favorite activities over the years has been passing an endless series of resolutions slamming Israel for having the temerity to exist and defend itself. These resolutions have become an annual rite of passage; as sure as the monarchs fly south for the winter and the swallows return to Capistrano, the Arabs and their cheering section get together with one or more frivolous, ridiculous objections. These efforts help ensure that undue focus and pressure remains on the Middle East’s sole democracy which, to the region’s and the EU’s profound regret, also happens to be the world’s only sovereign Jewish state.
Canada usually abstains from these votes. The rationale has been that voting against them would compromise out ability to act as an honest broker if and when called upon to do so. Finally, it has come to our attention that these resolutions have more to do with animus against Israel than anything else, and that the resulting logjam has impeded the progress of a peaceful solution. Yesterday for the first time, Canada voted against two anti-Israel resolutions, and aligned itself with that small group of holdouts, included the U.S., Australia, and a handful of miniscule states like Micronesia, that have big enough gonads to vote against the majority. Not only that, Canada’s ambassador to the UN, Allan Rock, gave a scathing speech deploring the UN for entertaining these endless, useless resolutions, which only serve to divert world attention away from more pressing matters. (But really, hasn’t that been the point?)
Predicatably, the shift in policy is raising eyebrows. The government is being accused of ceding its traditional even-steven role, and falling in line with the U.S. In the weeks and months ahead, there will be howls of outrage from the NDP, Arab groups and others who see this as unacceptable support for “fascist” Israel. We shall see if the government has the courage of its newfound convictions and the wherewithall to withstand these attacks.