April 18th, 2024

Parliament to vote on NDP motion urging Trudeau to recognize Palestinian statehood

By The Canadian Press on March 18, 2024.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. Members of Parliament are set to vote today on a motion from the New Democrats calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government to "officially recognize the State of Palestine." THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA – Members of Parliament are set to vote today on an NDP motion calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to “officially recognize the state of Palestine.”

Liberal MPs have been divided over the Israel-Hamas war and discussed the vote during a call this morning ahead of debate on the motion.

Outspoken Liberal MP Salma Zahid, from the Greater Toronto Area, says she intends to vote in favour of the motion.

But Anthony Housefather, a Liberal from Montreal, says the motion calls for a list of measures that are “hostile to Israel.”

The non-binding motion also calls on the government to demand an immediate ceasefire and halt the trade of military goods with Israel.

Muslim advocates are calling on MPs to vote in favour, while Israel’s ambassador to Canada says they must not.

Housefather said on social media over the weekend that the motion fails to include a demand that Hamas surrender and no longer rule Gaza.

“Changing foreign policy to reward a terrorist attack. Not smart,” he posted on X.

Trudeau has repeatedly said that Canada advocates for a two-state solution, but his government has stopped short of officially recognizing a Palestinian state.

The war began when Hamas, designated as a terrorist group in Canada, stormed into southern Israel on Oct. 7 and killed some 1,200 people, taking another 240 hostage.

Authorities in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip say Israel’s military offensive in the densely populated area has killed at least 31,700 Palestinians.

The New Democrats take note of the ensuing humanitarian crisis in the motion, which is to be debated in the afternoon before an evening vote.

Iddo Moed, Israel’s ambassador to Canada, said in a statement Monday morning that the motion proposes a “one-sided recognition of a Palestinian state,” and doing so only rewards Hamas.

Representatives of the National Council of Canadian Muslims rejected that interpretation at a Monday news conference.

They said human rights are at stake and urged MPs to vote in favour of the motion, saying Muslim and Palestinian Canadians are watching.

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

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