Green Party of Canada updates Israel-Palestine Conflict policy

The conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is often viewed as intractable and irresolvable. More than three regional wars and two Intifadas have left deep scars on the bodies and in the minds of the people of this troubled region. Strongly held views and historical claims are well entrenched on both sides, making this a complex and crucial conflict to understand. It is an unfortunate and continued source of tension for many in the Middle East and around the world.

It should be clear that continued support and use of military or insurgency strategies will not bring about an end to the conflict. The cycle of violence, loss of life, and desecration of human rights must come to an end.

The Green Party of Canada believes that any effort aimed only at one side in this conflict will not end the violent responses that exacerbate human suffering. Canada’s role in the Middle East should be to reduce tensions, find working solutions, and uphold international humanitarian law, not to take sides in this chronic conflict. We must work towards a mutually acceptable compromise that will achieve a lasting peace between, and among, the Israelis and Palestinians.

The Green Party supports a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict that addresses the security, economic, and religious concerns of the both sides.

Diplomatic efforts to build constructive relationships between the two communities are required. Continued dialogue will build community support for the negotiated peace agreement, and will ease implementation and ensure that it does not break down from pressures within the Palestinian and Israeli communities.

Green Party MPs will:

  • Endorse the recognition of a Palestinian right to statehood within the internationally recognized borders as described in United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, and support a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict that adheres to pre-1967 borders and incorporates an international plan for stimulating economic prosperity in both nations;

  • Call on both sides to immediately stop the killing of civilians and adhere to international law;

  • Protect as inviolable the right of the State of Israel to exist, in the absence of fear and conflict;

  • Encourage the Canadian government to press for a mutually agreed-upon honest broker to engage in bilateral and multi-lateral peace talks involving Palestinians and Israelis;

  • Call on Arab countries to use their influence to broker an agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian National Authority to facilitate the promotion of peace amongst the competing Palestinian interests;

  • Call for an end to the collective siege of Gaza so that medical and humanitarian aid can be provided;

  • Call on Israel to stop expansion and the building of illegal settlements beyond the 1967 borders;

  • Actively support the efforts of civil society groups working for peace, human rights, and justice in the region.

In the years since the GPC adopted this policy, to which we are still committed, the situation has worsened. The possibility of a two-state solution is diminishing directly due to the Netanyahu government’s support for illegal expansion and increasingly brutal military occupation. Even over 200 former members of Israeli Defence Forces (“Security First”) have decried the worsening security situation for Israelis and Palestinians – and laid the blame directly on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s policies. The former Israeli military officers have raised the alarm of a “humanitarian crisis in Gaza” and the diminishing chances for a two-state solution.

Clearly, Canada needs to do more to register with the Israeli government that flouting international law and threatening the security of its own people while violating the human rights of Palestinians is not acceptable. In doing so, Canada must continue to condemn violence from the militant elements of Palestinian society.

The addendum to existing policy is based on clear differentiation between "legal" Israel, as within the 1967 borders, a democracy respecting the rights of citizens of all ethnicities within its borders, and "illegal" Israel - the occupied territories beyond Israel's legal borders. The Palestinian civilians within the Occupied Territories are subjected to virtual continual abuses of their human rights. The Occupied Territories are maintained under a brutal military occupation. Products from illegal Israel should not be granted the preferred trading status of products of legal Israel.  

The Green Party explicitly rejects the notion of boycotting the state of Israel. The Green Party does not endorse the formal "BDS movement" as it does not include supporting the right of the State of Israel to exist. Many well-meaning Canadians support this movement, but on examination, it is clear that as an outside movement it is incompatible with Green Party policy. (The full text of the addendum to policy can be found here).