More than two years on, we are beginning to discern what the Trudeau government believes should be its foreign policy. It seems to have everything to do with opportunism and little, if anything, to do with principle or a serious world vision.
Which brings us to the peculiar manner in which this government has been aggressively critical of a recent Israeli policy regarding that country’s treatment of asylum seekers who have entered the country illegally since 2005. Approximately 37,000 individuals from Eritrea and Sudan have fled extreme hardship in their home countries and survived treacherous journeys across the Sinai desert to reach relative safety in Israel.
Virtually all of these asylum seekers do not qualify as refugees under Israeli law and are accepted as temporary residents, required to renew their visas every two to three months. After April 1, there will be no further visa renewals permitted and the individuals either face deportation to a third country or indefinite incarceration.
Asylum seekers protest against deportation in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Feb. 24, 2018.
The deportations are to unspecified third countries rumoured to be Uganda and Rwanda. Each individual — only single men will be deported — will receive a one-way airplane ticket and approximately US$4,000. Families and all children will be exempted from this measure, which has been decried by some NGOs and many Israeli citizens as being unjust.
Enter the government of Canada. Speaking on behalf of the minister of foreign affairs, Chrystia Freeland, her spokesperson, Adam Austen, commented rather boldly: “Canada does not support policies of mass deportations of asylum seekers. The rights of asylum seekers and refugees are laid out in the Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees, of which Israel is a signatory.”
The clear insinuation articulated by Mr. Austen, of course, is that in conducting these deportations, Israel is, in …read more
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