Visit To the Mission of Canada
Today, I had a meeting with the Head of Mission of Canada to the Palestinian Authority David DaSilvia and his political Officer Charles De Bock. I raised with both of them our concerns about Canada’s position regarding a number of issues important to our work, including the Six Organizations, the Trial of Mohammad Halabi, Masafer Yatta, Khan el Ahmar, and other matters, including the IHRA definition of anti Semitism. I mentioned that Palestinian Civil Society is often disappointed by the positions taken by Canada and by the absence of their representatives from solidarity actions where European diplomats are often present and vocal in denouncing human rights violations.
Officially, Mr. Da Silva repeated the standard position of the Canadian Government, and stated its support for civil society, and its concern for human rights. He also stressed that they have a small diplomatic staff in Ramallah, and cannot always be present at important events or house demolitions, or military court trials, though they occasionally attend and are fully supportive of their other colleagues who attend, and David DaSilvia that they go when they can. We then proceeded to have an extensive off-the-record conversation for almost an hour where we discussed various issues, including the current situation, the expected actions of the new Israeli government, the rise in army and settler violence, and the disappearing prospect for a peaceful or a two-state solution. I summarized for them my Beyond the Two State Solution book and gave them a copy which the Head of Mission promised to read.