rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Jewish human rights group slams Harper government's UN vote on Palestine

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

A Canadian Jewish human rights group is condemning the Harper government's opposition to giving Palestine non-member observer state status at the United Nations. In a vote taken this week by the General Assembly, 138 countries voted to grant Palestine this status.

"Once again the Harper government has embarrassed Canadians on the world stage, rendering itself not only useless but dangerous on the question of peace in the region," explained Independent Jewish Voices - Canada spokesperson Sid Shniad.

"Two years ago, Canada failed -- for the first time ever -- to obtain a seat on the UN Security Council. That failure was seen as an implicit reprimand for the Harper government's oft-declared disdain for the UN as well as its unquestioning support for any and everything the Israeli government does," Shniad continued. "Not only are we failing to promote peace in the Middle East; Canada is alienating the entire world by supporting Israel right or wrong."

"The United Nations vote shows that the world is increasingly uncomfortable with Israel's actions," he maintained. "But Israel remains intransigent. Instead of heeding to the message contained in the vote, it responded with the arrogant announcement that it is commencing construction on 3,000 new illegal settlement housing units in Palestinian East Jerusalem and the West Bank."

"While Israel's military strength is tremendous, the vote at the UN indicates that both its diplomatic and its moral strength are waning," said Shniad, pointing to Israel's failure to garner the support of more than nine countries to vote against Palestinian recognition. Joining Canada, the U.S and Israel in voting 'no' were the Czech Republic, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Panama.

"Fourteen European Union countries voted in favour of the Palestinian initiative. Countries which could formerly be counted as strong supporters of Israel -- including the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, and New Zealand -- either voted yes or abstained," Shniad noted.

"Moreover, the Israeli decision to ramp up its illegal settlement construction, announced immediately after the UN vote, is generating unprecedented condemnation from the world community. France and Britain are talking about recalling their ambassadors to Israel over this. Even the United States has denounced the new building campaign," he stressed.

"Canada is pursuing a uniquely reckless and intemperate approach in all this," noting the Harper government's deafening silence in the face of the announcement of the new Israeli settlements and its threat to slash its aid to Palestine. “Both Ottawa and Tel Aviv would be well advised to pay attention to these unprecedented developments on the world stage," Shniad concluded.

Independent Jewish Voices – Canada is a national organization that promotes a just resolution to the conflict in Israel and Palestine through the application of international law and respect for the human rights of all parties. IJV has chapters in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Victoria.


Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.