After Canada voted against Palestine’s bid for non-member observer state status at the United Nations last week, an Iranian-Canadian citizen voiced his displeasure through a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.
Activist and Salam Toronto contributor Mashoud Nasseri wrote a scathing letter on Nov. 30 to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird saying he disagrees with Canada’s stance.
Foreign Affairs’ media office responded the letter by thanking him and letting him know that “his request will be forwarded to a spokesperson”.
Mr. Nasseri said he has yet to receive an official response from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International trade after sending the following letter to Mr. Baird:
Dear Minister Baird,
I respectfully disagree with our government’s stance on Palestine’s bid to have its status in the UN upgraded to state recognition. The Palestinians have a legitimate right to claim statehood. They deserve to be recognized. We should stand up for what is right.
Perhaps statehood for Palestine is just what’s needed to stabilize this fractured region. A little dignity and self-destiny can go a long way—I just can’t believe the Canada government is against this!
Is the “The non-member observer state status that could also open the way for possible war crimes charges against Israel at the International Criminal Court” is one of the reasons on Canada’s decision not to support the bid? Then why?
Shouldn’t the justice be served whoever has allegedly committed any crime? If we look at American and Canadian news websites most citizens agree. So why do both governments oppose it? Shouldn’t democracies represent the people? I am embarrassed and disappointed to be represented such unfairly and uneven handedly on the world stage.
Richmond Hill, ON
One politician did officially respond to Nasseri’s letter, which he also sent to several other federal politicians and media organizations. Federal NDP and official opposition leader Thomas Mulcair responded to Nasseri’s letter with the following statement:
“Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on the United Nations vote to enhance Palestinian observer status at the General Assembly.
Efforts to achieve negotiated peace between Israelis and Palestinians are at a crossroads. New Democrats firmly believe that Canada has an obligation to help bring the two sides closer to an agreement. A negotiated two-state solution is the best way to ensure Israelis and Palestinians can live side-by-side, in peace and security.
Foreign Affairs’ media office: “Your request will be forwarded to a spokesperson”.
It is disappointing that instead of working with our allies towards getting the parties back to the negotiating table; Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are issuing threats against the Palestinian Authority. This is an unprecedented approach in Canadian foreign policy – where our Prime Minister issues threats rather than choosing to work towards a negotiated resolution.
That’s why in media comments and in questions in the House of Commons, New Democrats expressed our disappointment with the Conservative approach. We considered the bid to enhance Palestinian representation at the UN to be a reasonable request, and have reiterated our concern that cutting off diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority could undermine the cause of peace, and that cutting off aid could undermine the security of
both Israelis and Palestinians.
The Conservative approach to the issue, and their most recent decision to review all bilateral relations with the Palestinian Authority, will further isolate Canada. New Democrats remain firmly committed to a negotiated two-state solution. We’re encouraged by the efforts of others who are trying to kick-start the negotiations as soon as possible, and are disappointed that Canada is not a partner in these efforts.
Once again, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this important issue. Feel free to share my reply with anyone who may be interested.
All the best,
Thomas Mulcair, M.P. (Outremont)
Leader of the Official Opposition
New Democratic Party of Canada”