Foreign Minister John Baird Defies Critics Of Canada’s Pro-Israel Stance



Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird affirmed his nation’s pro-Israel stance in a meeting with Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon in Tel Aviv, following Sunday’s incident in which Baird’s visiting convoy was pelted with eggs and shoes by Palestinians while on a visit to Ramallah. The Palestinian protesters also held signs reading “Baird, Jerusalem is our capital” and other slogans.

“People may disagree with our position with respect to Israel, but so be it,” Baird said on Tuesday in Tel Aviv.

“It’s always wise to speak with moral clarity,” he said.

The Palestinians, said Baird, “know our position.”

“We don’t say one thing to their face and another thing when we go back home,” said the foreign minister. “We strongly support a Palestinian state. We just believe it’s a byproduct of peace negotiations with Israel. The way to accomplish a Palestinian state is dialogue with Israel and not taking unilateral action. … With the anti-Semitism rising in so many parts of the world it’s probably more important today than it was even a few short years ago that there be a Jewish state where people can seek refuge.”

Baird had said Monday that the Palestinians “made a huge mistake” by seeking war crimes charges against Israel at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.