Writing in the Toronto Star on January 22, Rev. Karen Rodman cites Canada’s policy statement on Israel posted on the Global Affairs Canada webpage as backing for her arguments, but it should be known that in order for the Fourth Geneva Convention to apply to Israel, there needs to be an occupying and occupied power, in this case referring to the west bank and east Jerusalem. “Palestine” has never been granted official sovereignty, therefore they are not officially occupying the territory. The correct term to refer to the west bank would be “disputed territories”. Indeed, from 1948 to 1967 the west bank and east Jerusalem were under control by Jordan and Gaza by Egypt and were obtained by Israel in 1967 as a result of a defensive war. Today, they do not assert a claim to these territories and therefore there is no occupation of these territories.
Rodman also mentions that the settlements in the “disputed” territories violate the Fourth Geneva Convention; however, the Convention condemns the forcible transfer of the occupying population to the occupied territories. Israel has not forced anyone of its citizens to live in the west bank, rather, all of them moved voluntarily.
Furthermore, along with Israel, Canada (it even says in the policy statement which Rodman uses as backing) has said it supports a peaceful two-state solution and sovereignty for Palestinians. Just because Canada said no in a disproportional UN vote, is not a fair indicator of its current stance on the situation. Furthermore, it’s important to note that the Palestinians were offered sovereignty before and after Israel became a state, in 1937, 1947, 1978, 2000 and 2007, in which all were denied, on the basis of refusing to recognize Israel’s and the Jewish State’s right to exist.
Moreover, during the UN General Assembly Session, 20 resolutions were created to single out Israel for criticism and only 3 resolutions were targeted at the rest of the world combined. Amidst sectarian violence, barbaric beheadings, and egregious human-rights violations, it’s truly hard to believe that Israel is deserving of all these resolutions, considering it’s the only democracy in the Middle East, where equality is celebrated. Finally, regarding the incursions into Gaza, let’s not be obtuse to the fact that they were a result of continuous indiscriminate firing of rocket fire onto Israel’s civilian population. To paint it as otherwise, would be misleading.