July 21st, 2024

Israeli envoy joins calls for Canada to clarify its stance on ICJ genocide case

By The Canadian Press on January 18, 2024.

The Israeli government is adding to calls inside Canada for the Liberals to make a clear statement about the International Court of Justice deliberating an allegation of genocide. Palestinians look at the destruction after an Israeli strike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Fatima Shbair

OTTAWA – Israel’s envoy to Canada is joining calls for the federal Liberals to clearly state Ottawa’s position as the International Court of Justice considers an allegation of genocide against Israel.

Iddo Moed says Canada should “leave no room for misinterpretation” on its stance, noting that many of Canada’s allies and peers have stated a clear position on the case.

The highest court of the United Nations held two days of public hearings last week as South Africa argued that Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Israel says it is defending itself against Hamas after its brutal October attack, but South Africa says there is no justification for the scale of Israel’s response.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not said whether Canada agrees with the allegation, or even if Ottawa would recognize the court’s ruling if it does find Israel to be guilty of genocide.

Trudeau insisted on Wednesday that his position was clear last week when he said Canada’s support for the institution doesn’t mean it supports the case, but many organizations said the comments were confusing.

University of the Fraser Valley criminology professor Mark Kersten has said the government is using “waffling language” to avoid taking a stance on a case that could further divide the Liberal caucus and the Canadian electorate.

South Africa says more than 50 countries support its case, including all 22 members of the Arab League, while most Western countries that traditionally support Israel have either stayed neutral or rejected the case outright.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2024.

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