Canada won’t back Obama’s Mideast peace proposal

DANIEL LEBLANC— Globe and Mail Update

The Harper government is refusing to join the United States in calling for a return to 1967 borders as a starting point for Mideast peace, a position that has drawn sharp criticism from Canada’s staunch ally Israel.

At a briefing ahead of the upcoming G8 summit in France, federal officials said the basis for the negotiations must be mutually agreed upon.

“What the government of Canada supports is basically a two-state solution that is negotiated,” a senior federal official said. “If it’s border, if it’s others issues, it has to be negotiated, it cannot be unilateral action.”

Pressed by reporters, federal officials said both the Israelis and the Palestinians have to decide on their bottom lines, which the Israelis have said will not include a return to the 1967 border.

“If the two parties are of the view that this is a starting point, that is fine for them,” said the federal official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The Prime Minister’s director of communications, Dimitri Soudas, added that Canada’s position continues to be the search for a two-state solution.

“No solution, ultimately, is possible without both parties sitting down, negotiating and agreeing on what that final outcome will look like,” he said.

Mr. Obama boosted Palestinian hopes for an independent state during a speech by pointedly calling on Israel to regard its 1967 borders as the basis for a neighbouring Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank.

“The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states,” Mr. Obama said Thursday – apparently the first time a U.S. president has drawn a line in the sand by publicly using the “1967 lines” phrase.

Mr. Obama’s deliberate use of the phrase touched off a furor, even if the basic outlines of a peace settlement remain unchanged.

Infuriated, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected any “full and complete return” to the pre-1967 frontiers, citing “new realities on the ground,” by which he means the sprawling Jewish suburbs ranging east of Jerusalem and scattered settlements occupying strategic points throughout the West Bank. Israel defeated Arab nations in 1967, seizing Gaza, Old Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

May 22, 2011 | 7 Comments »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

Leave a Reply

7 Comments / 7 Comments

  1. 1967 boundaries are not relevant in today’s world. If you attack your neighbor and lose, if you join together with thugs, if you disrespect your neighbors borders and your requests Prevent your neighbor from defending itself you are not an equal with whom to negotiate. If you say, I respect you as a state and realize that the past has not been stellar, that I have certain problems that need to be resolved let’s talk about them then maybe there is a way to talk

  2. There isn’t room for two states between the River & the Sea.

    There is scarcely room for one.

    If the shoe were on the other foot

    if the Jewish state were the proposed state,

    and an Arab state the existing one,

    who would be saying there’s room for another in that space?


    No second state.

    End of discussion.

  3. “What the government of Canada supports is basically a two-state solution that is negotiated,”

    That’s too much of a pre-condition in my book, and I hope our next President overturns the “two-state” policy brought about by Pres. George W. Bush. It’s ridiculous to think of a “Palestinian State”, for anyone with a knowledge of geography and history. It could, at best, be a state in the sense that Andorra, Monaco and San Marino are states — dependent for their livelihoods on smuggling, gambling and the printing of postage stamps. At its wors, it will be a “state” after the model of the Somali pirates or the former Assassins of Alamut. Under the umbrella of some futuristic Saudi-led regional common market that included Israel, a state might be POSSIBLE; but at the moment, all the world can honestly expect is some sort of UN-sanctioned Israeli protectorate over the Arab areas — and this is antithetical to the Moslem psyche.

    One cheer to the Canadians, for at least getting the “negotiated” part right. That puts them well ahead of the Americans. I wonder if the Canadians want to take the flak and become actual leaders of the Free World, now that they hold the moral sceptre. Naah — The US would squash them if they tried, the same way they’re binding and gagging Israel and the Saudis to prevent them from attacking Iran. The US will be the world’s sole superpower, right up to the end; and its President will be the Antichrist. That’s as certain as death and taxes.

  4. Bravo Canada. BUt before there can be any sitting down to negotiation there must first be a full recognition of Israel as a Soveign Jewish State. Which then puts the ball in the Arab court. As it stands now, Israel will still be seen as intransigent by the rest of the free world, excluding Canada, because given the situation, how can she begin to discuss anything substantive with people committed to her dstruction.