A Time to Act for Peace: Canada should recognize Palestine as a state

Spain, Norway and Ireland announced today that they will recognize Palestine as a state on May 28, and Canada should do the same. The issue of recognizing Palestine as a state is not just a matter of international diplomacy, but a critical issue of justice and peace in the Middle East. As a nation that prides itself on upholding human rights and supporting global peace efforts, Canada has a moral and strategic imperative to recognize Palestine as a state. Here are the key reasons why Canada should take this decisive step now.

Upholding international law and justice

Recognizing Palestine is consistent with numerous UN resolutions, including the 1947 UN Partition Plan and the 2012 General Assembly vote granting Palestine non-member observer state status. These resolutions reflect a broad international consensus that the Palestinian people have a right to self-determination and statehood. By recognizing Palestine, Canada would reaffirm its commitment to international law and support the enforcement of global norms that protect human rights and justice.

Support for a two-state solution

The two-state solution, with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security, remains the most viable way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Recognizing Palestine as a state is a critical step in making this solution a reality. It would encourage direct negotiations on an equal footing that could lead to a lasting and just peace agreement. Canada's recognition would signal strong support for this approach and contribute to regional stability. Most importantly, it would send a clear message of Canada’s unequivocal opposition to the Netanyahu government’s policy of permanently occupying East Jerusalem and the West Bank and its campaign to destroy Gaza.

Promoting democratic development

Recognition could empower moderate Palestinian leadership and strengthen democratic institutions within Palestine. It would lend legitimacy to those seeking to build a peaceful and democratic state, counter extremist narratives, and promote political stability. Canada's recognition would thus support the development of a democratic and accountable Palestinian state and promote a more stable and peaceful Middle East.

Enhance Canada's international standing

Taking a principled stand on Palestine would enhance Canada's reputation as a fair and just actor on the world stage. It would demonstrate Canada's commitment to human rights and international law, consistent with its foreign policy values. This move could also strengthen Canada's influence in international forums and among its allies, positioning it as a leader in peace and conflict resolution.

Reflecting Canadian values

At its core, recognizing Palestine is about reflecting the values that Canadians hold dear: justice, equality and peace. The Palestinian people have endured decades of occupation, displacement and conflict. Recognition would acknowledge their rights and aspirations and demonstrate that Canada stands with those who seek dignity and self-determination.

The time is ripe for Canada to recognize Palestine as a state. This action would reaffirm international law, support a viable peace process, promote democratic development, enhance Canada's global standing, and reflect core Canadian values. It's a step toward a more just and peaceful world that Canada can and should lead. Doing so will restore Canadian integrity on the world stage and make Canadians proud of being on the right side of history.