Condemning Illegal Israeli Settlement Expansions

Code

G14-P22

Proposal Type

Policy

Submitter Name

Ghaith El-Mohtar

Party Commentary

This motion escalates political measures against Israel by condemning its continued settlement expansions. This policy could have political impact on party supporters who happen to support Israel’s settlement expansions. It may also provoke a reaction from Canada’s Israel lobby. This motion supports and is in alignment with current policy G08-P042 - Israel/Palestine Conflict, which lists several measures to encourage the peace process between Palestine and Israel.

This motion also complements current policies G08-P030 - Palestinian Right to Statehood and G10-P09 - Palestinian Products as Palestinian.

Preamble

WHEREAS the rights of indigenous peoples to the basic means of their survival, both economic and cultural, including rights to land and to self-determination, is a founding principle of the Green Party of Canada;

WHEREAS continued Israeli settlement expansion represents a violation of those indigenous rights, and is illegal under: Article 49, Paragraph 6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention; The Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court (ICC), UN Security Council Resolution 465 (1980) and the legal opinion of the International Court of Justice;

WHEREAS Israel has illegally moved over 600,000 Israelis into the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and continues to announce plans for further settlement expansion;

WHEREAS such illegal expansions are incompatible with any good-faith negotiations, and thereby protract the Israel-Palestine conflict;

WHEREAS international condemnation is one of the few means available to pressure the State of Israel to cease such illegal activities;

Operative

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Green Party of Canada fully condemn all illegal Israeli settlement expansions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as undeniable obstacles to the Israel-Palestine peace-process.

Sponsors

Elizabeth May, Eric Walton, Alex hill, Stefan Klietsch, Jackson Mitchell, Gurvir Khosa, Richard Hosein, Miriam Sabsevari, Ghaith El-Mohtar, Josh Russell, Kai Newman, Adrian Fine, Corey Levine, Tessa Owens, Danny Polifroni, Young Greens Council

Background

The State of Israel has used continued settlement expansion in the West Bank as a tool for creating “facts on the ground” during peace negotiations for over 30 years. This allows Israel to continuously appropriate and annex Palestinian land regardless of the outcome of negotiations, and regardless of whether Israel has a right to the land or not.

This is a serious obstacle to the peace process, because it places Israel in a conflict of interest between ending the conflict and benefiting from its irresolution. As a consequence, the Palestinian Authority has often refused to negotiate until Israel fully freezes its expansion activities. Israel typically responds by demanding “no preconditions” to negotiations. This stance often receives the backing of staunchly pro-Israel international actors, such as the USA and, sadly, Canada. International pressure and social actions (such as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement) are among the few means for pressuring Israel to abandon this stance.

This motion is not “Pro-Palestinian” or “Pro-Israel.” It is pro-peace, and in line with the Green Party of Canada’s founding values of social justice, non-violence, and respect for diversity. It is fully compatible with Vision Green’s current position in support of dialogue and a 2 state solution along 1967 lines, and even reinforces it by addressing a significant obstacle to dialogue.

This motion will likely have political repercussions for the GPC. It will almost certainly frustrate the party’s supporters who happen to support Israel’s settlement expansions. It may also provoke a reaction from Canada’s Israel lobby, which currently enjoys almost unconditional support for Israel’s actions as the political norm in Canada. Positive results include reinforcing the GPC’s image as a supporter of justice in the Middle
East. This would likely win over former NDP supporters who oppose ThomasMulcair’s unquestioning support of Israel.