Canada warns Palestinians against taking Israel to ICC
Story Code : 244775
John Baird made the remarks in a speech to thousands of lobbyists from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and members of the US government last Sunday.
"We were very clear from the outset that further actions, like we've seen at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), like we've seen at the United Nations, particularly at the ICC will be ones which will not go unnoticed and will have certainly consequences in the conduct of our relations with the Palestinian Authority," Baird said.
Baird’s remarks received a boisterous welcome from the audience, revealing the satisfaction with the Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government support of Israel.
Ottawa opposed the Palestinian bid last November to upgrade status at the UN from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state” and has warned the Palestinian Authority against taking legal action against the Tel Aviv regime at the ICC.
In October 2011, Canada also opposed the Palestinian effort to win membership within the UNESCO.
Palestinian officials said they would take legal actions against the Tel Aviv regime at the ICC in order to stop illegal construction of settler units on the occupied Palestinian land.
Baird also criticized the speech made by acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas at the UN General Assembly in November, saying it “concerned many of us.”
"He could have extended an arm, a hand to Israel. He could have extended an olive branch. He could have been generous, and we didn't see any generosity in his remarks,” Baird said.
Canada, the United States, Israel and six other countries voted against the Palestinian bid, while 138 other assembly members voted in favor of the resolution, approving the upgrade.