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The IUP Journal of International Relations :
Canada’s Role in the Arab-Israel Peace Process Through the United Nations and Beyond
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Initially, Canada had no interest, economically or militarily, in the faraway Arab-Israel region, in particular or in the Middle East, in general. However, post-Second World War, participation in the United Nations had drawn Canada into the Arab-Israel conflict, closely and emotionally. Notwithstanding its traditional position and consistent support for the State of Israel, Canada has been one of the few states that took a position in support of comprehensive peace in the Arab-Israel conflict. Its principal contribution to the Arab-Israel peace process has been in the form of Canada holding the Chair of the Refugee Working Group (RWG)—a group that was created as part of the broad multilateral Middle East Peace Process (MEPP) in the 1990s. This study has made a modest effort to describe and analyze, using historical and comparative methods, Canada’s diplomatic engagements with the Arab-Israel conflict and the various peace processes through the United Nations as well as multilateral peace mechanisms.

 
 
 

Canada supported the cause of a Jewish homeland and voted for the creation of the State of Israel in the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) in 1948. Whatever be the reasons, Canada chose to ignore the claims and the plight of the majority Palestinians. There was a strong debate within Canadian delegation at various stages on its evolving position over the question of a separate Israel; a minority view calling support for Israel as going against the Liberal internationalist grain of Canadian foreign policy. Gradually, and in the subsequent wars after 1948, the unauthorized Israeli settlement has made a large number of Palestinians homeless and this feature became permanent. As of now, five million Palestinian refugees are registered under the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine refugees in the Near East and living in 58 refugee camps in the neighboring Arab states and surviving under poor conditions.

 
 
 

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