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Canada calls for two-state solution, but refrains from unilaterally recognizing Palestinian Arab state

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to the Canadian Parliament, in Ottawa, Canada, March 24, 2023. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS)

The Canadian Parliament passed a non-binding motion by a vote of 204 to 117, calling for the implementation of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Canadian lawmakers, however, stopped short of officially recognizing a Palestinian Arab state.

The Canadian left-wing New Democrats Party (NDP) initiated the motion and wanted the explicit recognition of the Palestinian Authority as the “State of Palestine.” However, this last reference was removed after negotiations with the ruling Liberal Party.

The final Canadian motion urges the global community to embrace the path toward the establishment of an additional Arab state next to Israel as an integral part of the two-state vision.

Most members of the Canadian cabinet voted in favor of the motion, including Ya’ara Saks, a dual Canadian-Israeli citizen who currently serves as the minister of Mental Health and Addictions in Canada/

The final motion also excluded original demands for an immediate ceasefire, the release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza and ending illegal arms shipments to the terrorist organization.

Israel’s Ambassador to Canada Iddo Moed previously expressed concerns that an explicit call for the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state could lead to unprecedented violence and undermine the path toward peace. In addition, some pundits in Israel and abroad have argued that such a diplomatic move would constitute a reward for terrorism against Israel and the West.

Canada and Israel have good relations and Canada is generally friendly towards the Jewish state.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau supports Israel’s right to defend itself, especially after the unprecedented Hamas Oct. 7 atrocities. However, there have been occasional diplomatic tensions between the two nations.

In November, Trudeau criticized Israel’s military operations against Hamas in Gaza, blaming Jerusalem for the deaths of Gazan women and children.

“I urge the government of Israel to exercise maximum restraint. The world is watching, on TV, on social media we’re hearing the testimonies of doctors, family members, survivors, kids who have lost their parents,” Trudeau said. “The world is witnessing this killing of women, of children, of babies. This has to stop.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rebuked Trudeau in a post on 𝕏.

“It is not Israel that is deliberately targeting civilians but Hamas that beheaded, burned and massacred civilians in the worst horrors perpetrated on Jews since the Holocaust,” Netanyahu wrote.

“While Israel is doing everything to keep civilians out of harm’s way, Hamas is doing everything to keep them in harm’s way. Israel provides civilians in Gaza humanitarian corridors and safe zones. Hamas prevents them from leaving at gunpoint. It is Hamas, not Israel, that should be held accountable for committing a double war crime – targeting civilians while hiding behind civilians.”

Like in many other Western nations, there have been large anti-Israel and pro-Hamas rallies in Canada, with a growing number of antisemitic incidents since Oct. 7.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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