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February 13th, 2024

New Democrats Urge Liberals to Recognize the State of Palestine

On Tuesday, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Heather McPherson (Edmonton Strathcona) tabled a motion calling on Canada to recognize the State of Palestine. McPherson made the following statement:

“The Palestinian people have the right to a state, and this right is nearly universally recognized at the United Nations. Today, 140 other States (139 UN member states and the Holy See) already recognize the State of Palestine. After decades of the near universal affirmation, including by Canada, that the Palestinian people have a right to self-determination, members of the international community must see to it that this right is finally given effect before it is too late. The United States and United Kingdom have said they are looking into avenues to recognize the State of Palestine and Canada must do the same.

For decades Palestinians have been subject to foreign military occupation, resulting in the denial of political and economic sovereignty and the right to move and live freely within what are considered to be Palestinian territories. Canada’s longstanding policy ‘recognizes the Palestinian right to self-determination and supports the creation of a sovereign, independent, viable, democratic and territorially contiguous Palestinian state, as part of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace settlement.’

The right of the Palestinian people to statehood is a globally recognized right and it doesn’t legally require negotiation or a peace settlement. With the devastating four-month assault on Gaza following the terrible Hamas attacks of October 7th, the conditions for a just and lasting peace settlement are further away than ever, and Canada is doing nothing to work for that. This is a necessary step to move peace and justice forward for Palestinians and for Israelis, who all deserve to live in safety and with full recognition of their human rights.

For years, the Liberals have refused to support cases at the International Criminal Court involving Palestine because it does not recognize the Court’s jurisdiction over Palestine, though Palestine has acceded to the Rome Statute.”