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Ambassador Gary Doer
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Ambassador Gary Doer and President Barrack Obama
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by Rhonda Spivak, November 29, 2012

Canada's Ambassador to the United States, Gary Doer told the Winnipeg Jewish Review that "I am proud to represent Canada, a country which will not vote for the unilateral recognition of Palestine at the UN."

Doer said this on November 27, 2012 a mere two days before the vote in the United Nations General Assembly on the PA’s unilateral bid to become a non-member observer state.

Doer flew in from Washington to Winnipeg to be present for the B'nai Brith Gala Award of Merit event in honour of Ida Albo at the Fort Gary Hotel. [A full report on this successful event will follow in an upcoming edition].

Doer said that Canada's stance was one "of moral clarity" and noted that it was consistent "with what I have always believed and the position I took when I was Premier [of Manitoba] that a two state solution will not come about through resolutions but, only by the Palestinians and Israelis negotiating a real peace agreement."

Doer said that in advance of the vote, many ambassadors around the world were visiting Washington.

"As the Canadian Ambassador I often receive inquiries as to Canada's position regarding the PA bid at the UN and regarding Iran. I am proud to give Canada's position," he said.

Voting "no" on the PA’s unilateral bid to become a non-member observer state, were Israel, the United States and Canada, joined by the Czech Republic, Panama and several Pacific island nations: Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau. [The Pacific nations typically support the U.S. and Israel at the U.N. on key General Assembly resolutions.]

Hours before the vote, Germany, whom Israel hoped would vote against, decided to abstain.

It remains to be seen what exactly will happen on the ground. Palestinians have indicated they are ready to use their new observer state status to turn to the International Criminal Court in The Hague to sue Israel for alleged war crimes. If the Palestinian agenda is to pursue "lawfare" [Editor's note: as I fear is the case]then it is not likely they will return to negotiations.

It also remains to be seen what the effect of the UN vote will have on Israeli elections. [ Editor's note: Will Israel's diplomatic isolation at the UN serve to help the Centre-Left gain steam ahead of the Israeli elections or will it work in the opposite direction ? ]

On November 27, 2012 two days ahead of the UN vote Israel did transfer 200 million shekels on that same day to the Palestinian Authority to pay its employees’ salaries, Israeli Army Radio reported on Wednesday.

There are moves taking place in the US Senate as a result of the vote.

“Granting United Nations membership to the Palestinian Authority is a nightmare in the making for the peace process,” tweeted Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

 Graham held a press conference with Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) to introduce legislation that would force the closure of the PLO’s office in Washington unless Palestinians have entered into “meaningful” negotiations with Israel.

The legislation also would eliminate American foreign assistance to the Palestinian Authority if the International Criminal Court adjudicates any matter proposed or supported by the Palestinians. Many expect that the PA will use its new status to attempt to go after Israel in the ICC.

“We are committed to using every means at our disposal to ensure that this UN vote does not serve as a precedent for elevating the status of the PLO in other UN bodies or international forums,” Schumer said.

“We will not use American taxpayer dollars to support a Palestinian entity whose primary goal, if they file a complaint in the ICC, is to marginalize the Jewish state rather than live in peace with the people of Israel,” Graham said.

“We will not stand idly by and allow the Palestinians to evade the peace process by pressing their political cause through alternate means and we will not provide financial support, or political support in the form of offices in the U.S., if the Palestinians aren’t serious about pursuing real peace through real negotiations,” said Menendez. “The choice is theirs

Dispatch From Jerusalem: Our correspondent David Bedein notes that on November 29, 2012 at 8:45 a.m. the following statement showing the intention of wiping Israel off the map was aired on the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation Radio Station, the official voice of the Palestinian Authority:

“Today the whole world recognizes the criminality of the occupation, the existence of a Palestinian State. Everyone except the United States, which has prevented Palestinian aspirations in the past, and Micronesia, a country of only 30 kilometres.

Today is a proud day to be a Palestinian, and we must be united. Today we take the first step towards ending the occupation, and reclaiming our homeland, from Gaza, to Nablus, Jerusalem, Haifa, Afula, all of Palestine.

We will use our newfound recognition to hold the occupation accountable for its crimes against humanity in the past two weeks.

We are all one Palestine, and now more than ever we must be united because this is the beginning of the end of the occupation.

Our brothers in Haifa, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Gaza, we now all speak with one voice.”



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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.