Group of Eight leaders had to soften a statement urging Israel and the Palestinians to return to negotiations because Canada objected to a specific mention of 1967 borders, diplomats said on Friday.
Canada’s right-leaning Conservative government has adopted a staunchly pro-Israel position in international negotiations since coming to power in 2006, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper saying Canada will back Israel whatever the cost
Sort of the way the U.S. used to treat Israel, before the current White House occupant. What did Canada do?
Diplomats involved in Middle East discussions at the G8 summit said Canada had insisted that no mention of Israel’s pre-1967 borders be made in the leaders’ final communique, even though most of the other leaders wanted a mention.
“The Canadians were really very adamant, even though Obama expressly referred to 1967 borders in his speech last week,” one European diplomat said.
So let’s be clear: Obama was prepared, eager even, to drag the Europeans into the “Israel needs to give up a chit with no reciprocity” gambit. But Canada had the nerve to say no. The compromise version read:
“The framework for these negotiations is well known. We urge both parties to return to substantive talks with a view to concluding a framework agreement on all final status issues.
“To that effect, we express our strong support for the vision of Israeli-Palestinian peace outlined by President Obama on May 19, 2011.”
Yes, the nod to the “vision” is a bone to Obama, but he plainly wanted more (for the Palestinians) and didn’t get it. Why isn’t he the one backing Israel to the hilt? Isn’t he the one supposedly working to prevent the vultures from descending on the Jewish state? It’s obvious that no one in Europe understands that there is a price to be paid for leaning on Israel; quite the opposite — Obama is promoting it!
This is an exquisite statement of support for Israel: “When Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack, is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand.” Too bad that came from the prime minister of Canada and not the U.S. president.