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What Lies Ahead? Canada’s Engagement with the Middle East Peace Process and the Palestinians

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Abstract

This special issue of the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, guest edited by Dr Jeremy Wildeman, uOttawa HRREC Fellow, and Emma Swan, Trudeau Scholar and uOttawa PhD candidate, addresses Canada’s foreign policy toward the Middle East Peace Process and the Palestinians. Through articles and commentaries by distinguished contributors, scholars and practitioners, the purpose of the issue is to offer insight into this important yet largely underexplored facet of Canadian foreign policy. To this end, Dr Jeremy Wildeman describes the different approaches the Government of Canada has adopted toward to the Palestinians and the Peace Process, while Professor Costanza Musu (uOttawa) and Amelia Arsenault (PhD cand. Cornell) describe how Canada has articulated and pushed its views on Israel-Palestine at the United Nations. Writing in a personal capacity, Dr Michael Atallah (Privy Council Office) assesses the role international donors like Canada have played in shaping and maintaining the turbulent status quo in Israel-Palestine. Offering insight into the impact Canadian policy has on Palestinians, Emma Swan enters into a detailed discussion of how Canada has fared in its commitment to a feminist-informed international assistance policy in Gaza, while Professor Ruby Dagher (uOttawa) assesses the role Canada has played in Palestinian economic development and the problems affecting Palestinians. Rounding out the issue are policy commentaries from noted experts. These include former Canadian diplomats with extensive experience in the Peace Process. Ambassadors Michael J Molloy, Andrew Robinson and David Viveash, offer a peak behind the curtain of Canadian foreign policy through three key historical moments: the admittance of Palestinian refugees to Canada in 1955-1956, Canada’s policy toward the Palestine Liberation Organisation and recognition of Palestinian self-determination in 1989, and Canada’s involvement in the Madrid Peace Process in 1991 and subsequent role in Israel-Palestine peacebuilding. Offering experience as both a practitioner in Israel-Palestine and scholar of human security, Dr Timea Spitka interrogates Canada’s image as a normative leader in human rights, human security and gender, versus its tendency to waver on those principles when applied to Israel.
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