Palestinian Autonomy Undermined by Canada

Palestinian Autonomy Undermined by Canada

As published in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA): August/September 2021 Vol. XL #5

Nizar Binat’s June 24 death at the hands of Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces is a harsh reminder of the PA’s attitude toward Palestinians who dare to criticize their authoritarian policies and security cooperation with Israel. Binat had been a candidate in the PA’s overdue parliamentary elections recently cancelled by PA leader Mahmoud Abbas over "uncertainty if Israel would allow the election to proceed in Jerusalem."

Behind the façade of peace enhancement, Canada and the U.S. support and train the security forces of the Palestinian Authority whose main task is facilitating Israel’s gradual annexation of the Occupied West Bank.
Many Israeli citizens support Palestinian resistance to Israeli interference in Palestinian democratic activities. These tactics have included arresting candidates, blocking access to West Bank areas and preventing local elections in East Jerusalem for “security” reasons. These actions undermine Israel’s self-proclaimed status as the Middle East’s sole democracy.

Israeli Arab participation in Israeli democracy is also under constant threat. While the current Israeli government of Naftali Bennet contains a small and ineffectual Arab faction, Israel had previously banned a Coalition of Arab Parties from participating in the divisive 2019 elections.

That exclusion prevented candidates from the Balad-United Arab List—which represents Palestinian citizens of Israel—from seeking election to Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.

Since Canada and the U.S. provide diplomatic, economic and military support to Israel; Canadians should hold Israel to the same standards we expect from our own government. Unfortunately, protecting Israeli exceptionalism and impunity remains Canada’s official priority.

Morgan Duchesney