Joly pushed for even softer arms export language in Israel-Hamas war: NDP

OTTAWA – The fallout from a symbolic House of Commons vote on Monday that urged Canada to cease future arms exports to Israel continue to resonate as liberals face criticism from Israel and within their own group.

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly held a closed-door meeting with some Liberals on Tuesday night after three MPs voted against the motion, saying they were surprised by the details of the last-minute amendments.

The New Democrats say they negotiated those changes with the Liberals for days before the vote, and Joly herself was working with them Monday night to finalize the details.

NDP foreign affairs critic Heather McPherson says Joly was pushing to further soften language on arms exports with just a half-hour to spare before a scheduled vote.

Final version of non-binding motion passed by majority Liberals says Canada should stop authorizing and transferring arms exports to Israelcausing the condemnation of IsraelI govern.

Montreal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather said Tuesday he was reconsidering his future with the party in the wake of the motion and skipped the weekly caucus meeting.

He said he would not have any update to provide on Wednesday.

Liberal ministers who stood outside caucus on Wednesday morning tried to show a united front and said they hoped Housefather would stay.

As they try to heal internal fractures, international implications are also being revealed, with Immigration Minister Marc Miller admitting the motion “won’t help” Canada’s efforts to remove Canadians’ relatives from the country. Loop Band.

IsraelCanada’s foreign minister said Tuesday, reacting to the final version of the motion, that Canada was taking a step that would undermine Israelthe ability to defend oneself.

“History will judge Canada’s current actions harshly,” Israel Katz posted on X.

The original version of the motion said that Canada should “suspend all trade in military goods and technology with Israel”, which would have voided any existing permits.

Global Affairs Canada said there are currently no open permits for exports of lethal goods to Israel.

“Since January 8, the government has not approved new weapons export permits to Israel and this will continue until we can ensure full compliance with our export regime,” the department said in a statement.

Export permits issued before January 8 remain in force. “Given the nature of the supply chain, suspending all open permits would have significant implications for both Canada and its allies.”

McPherson said the NDP was willing to drop language on arms exports.

She said Joly approached her in the opposition lobby of the House of Commons at around 7pm on Monday night, just 30 minutes before the scheduled vote.

Joly tried to push for even softer language than what appeared in the final motion, McPherson said.

“They didn’t want the responsibility of canceling arms contracts,” he said. “We said no. We move away”.

Ultimately, the negotiations depended on what the Liberals would be willing to do to help people in Loop “Right now,” he said.

That boils down to three red lines, he said: stop arms sales to the Israeli government, supporting the International Court of Justice and applying sanctions to extremist settlers in the West Bank.

The language around supporting the tribunal’s work did not specify how Canada should do so. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has previously said his government supports the institution.

The government had also previously indicated that it was considering sanctioning IsraelHe is accused of violence in the West Bank.

“Every time we work with liberals, every time we look at something they were proposing, we take it to community members, we take it to progressive Jewish individuals, we take it to people who have expertise on the issue. ground in LoopMcPherson said.

“It was not an easy job.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 20, 2024.


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