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Canada’s Position on Peace in the Middle East
Over the recent years, the canadian government has been actively involved in the middle east affairs. One of the regions where the country has played a more cental role is in the conflict between Israle and Palestine. The two nations have been involved in conflict for a long period and the Canada has remained proactive in an attempt to finding a lasting solution to the condlict. Furthermore, the country supports the establishment of a viable, democratic as well as indepent palestine that coexists peacefully with Israel. Therefore, the country is committed towards finding peace between the two countries, and also intervenes by offering assistance to the affected communities.
The Canadian government supports Israel and it is also supportive of the country’s security. The country realizes the need for Israel to be at peace with its neigbors and the need that they coexist harmoneously. Additionally, the canadian government reconizes the right for Israel to have secure boundaries and an assurance of its security (Mackay 44) . To highlight the extent to which the governent is willing to assist Israel, it supported the country during the Hezbollah conflict and continues supporting the country in its fight against terrorism. Furthermore, the government of Canada recognizes that Israel has the right to take the appropriate decions to protect its citizens in accordance with the principles of the international humanitarian law as well as human rights (Seligman 55). Therefore, the two countries may be perceived as having a cordial relationship, particularly on issues such as peace and democracy, which are some of the key elements affectig the Israeli government.
The government also supports Palestinians and intervenes frequently to assist in addressing some of the problems that the country is facing. The government recognizes that Palestinians have a right to self-determination; hence, it supports the creating of an independent, democratic, viable, and sovereign state. Such would be a lasting solution that the Palestinian administration is facing (Mackay 12). Additionally, the government acknowledges Palestinian authority as a government and that Gaza and West Bank fall under its administration. The two regions have been some of the primary causes of the conflict in the region. Additionally, the Canadian government also acknowledges the existence of the Palestine Liberation Organization as the institution that represents the interests of the people, hence supports the nation’s leadership towards finding a viable and long lasting solution to the conflict that it has with Israel (Seligman 21).
Additionally, the Canadian government has been offering aid to the people who are affected by the conflict between the two nations. The government collaborates with organizations such as the United Nations and other charitable organizations in assisting these people. It responds to the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people, who tend to be the most affected by the conflict (Mackay 13). The support includes allowing refugees from the conflict zones and equipping them with the skills that they need to become productive citizens in Canada. In 2007, for instance, the government committed $300 million over a period of five years towards enhancing Palestinian governance, prosperity, and security (Narine 41). Therefore, considering the initiatives by the government, it is evident that its foreign policy is supportive of the Palestinian people.
In addition, part of the country’s foreign policy towards the Middle East is the implementation of a comprehensive peace settlement between the two conflicting countries. It is committed to the objective of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the region, which includes the formation of a Palestinian state that coexists peacefully with Israel (Seligman 29). This can only be achieved can only be possible by following the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council on the issue. The Canadian government welcomed the decision by Palestine to accept the resolutions, which highlights its commitment towards the establishment of peace within the Middle East. Besides, the country also recognizes the importance of the Quartet’s Road Map towards the finding of lasting solutions to the problem (Mackay 16). The road map defines the obligations of each of the parties, and the steps towards the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Another key concern in the conflict within the region is the status of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Canadian government is of the view that the status of the city of Jerusalem can only be resolved though the general settlement of the dispute between the two countries. Furthermore, the government does not recognize Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem (Narine 43). Therefore, the Canadian government believes that the status of the city can only be determined through a peaceful settlement, rather than the use of force or other actions that may escalate the conflict.
Another key concern in the Canadian government’s policy towards the conflict is the Palestinian refugees. Canada believes that the Palestinian refugees must be resettled for the solutions suggested for the conflict to be regarded as just. To find lasting peace in the region, it is imperative that the various parties develop solutions for the Palestinian refugees issue (Mackay 24). Furthermore, the Canadian government puts emphasis on the need that the rights of the refugees are respected according to the principles of the international law. In addition, the Canadian government has been playing a central role in the search for comprehensive and viable solutions to the refugee issue. Currently, the government continues drawing international attention on the needed for improving the lives of over 4 million Palestinian refugees (Seligman 38).
Furthermore, annexation of some territories and settlements is another contributor to the violence in the region. The Canadian government objects Israel’s control of the various regions that it has occupied since 1967, including Gaza Strip (Seligman 22). The fourth Geneva Convention is applicable within the territories that Israel occupies, and stipulates its obligations, particularly with regard to the humane treatment of the residents of the occupied regions. However, Israel’s occupation of the various settlements amounts to a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention based on the United Nation’s Security Council resolutions 446 and 465 (Narine 31). Additionally, the occupation of these territories is one of the major obstacles towards the attainment of a comprehensive and lasting peace to the region. Therefore, the Canadian government is of the view that both the Palestine and Israeli authorities ought to respect the humanitarian law and the international rights, which would be the rights steps towards the end of the conflict.
Moreover, the Canadian government has been condemning terrorist acts and has been calling for the arrest and trial all terrorist suspects in accordance with the international law. Besides, the government fully objects the use of terrorism as a means towards the achievement of political ends (Mackay 25). The acts violate the basic rights of the civilians within any country. The acts of terrorism in the region, particularly by Palestinian Islamist fighters are a major impediment in reaching a viable settlement within the region. Additionally, the government condemns incitement and other actions that may be aimed at driving the emotions of the people within either of the regions. Because of Canada’s legislation and stand on terrorism, it has outlawed organizations such as Hezbollah and listed them as terrorist organizations (Seligman 19).
Each year, various resolutions aimed at addressing the conflict between Israel and Palestine are presented to the United Nations. Part of the country’s foreign policy is assessing each of the tabled resolutions based o their merits as well as consistency with its principles. The government supports the resolutions that align with its policy for the Middle East and are within the confines of the international and humanitarian laws (Mackay 36). Furthermore, the resolutions that the country supports must contribute to the objective of having peaceful coexistence between the two conflicting nations. The resolutions also need to reflect the current dynamics and addresses the roles and obligations of each of the parties towards finding an amicable solution to the conflict (Narine 29). Additionally, Canada supports solutions that are just and inclusive and not one sided.
Additionally, many of the resolutions presented to the United Nations Security Council on the issue are repetitive. The repeated resolutions do not offer any new insights or methods of addressing the problem. As such, the government is of the view that the United Nations as well as its key states is obligated with contributing constructive solutions for ending the conflict (Seligman 15). Such includes providing resolutions that are not repetitive in nature and aim at addressing the problem from a new and better angle. In line with this, the government intends to continue examining each of the resolutions presented to the UN carefully.
Additionally, the Canadian government acknowledges the right of the Israeli government to protect its people from attacks. As such, it recognizes the importance of elements such as restriction of access to the territory as well as the building of barriers within its territory to enhance its security (Mackay 26). However, the Canadian government objects some of the actions the Israeli government takes in the protection of its citizens. For instance, construction of barriers in West Bank and East Jerusalem is unfair since they are occupied territories. The Canadian government does not support such measures since they breach the international law as stipulated in the Fourth Geneva Convention (Narine 56). Additionally, the Canadian government heavily objects actions such as the demolition and expropriation of some of the houses or other infrastructures in the name of securing its territories.
Additionally, Canada also recognizes the suffering that North African and Middle Eastern Jewish refugees endured in 1948 (Seligman 38). They were exposed to suffering, hence the need that governments recognize the experience that they endured. Therefore, the government may be perceived as recognizing the historical injustices committed towards the Jewish refugees, hence the need for their experience to be recognized. Such recognition may set the right precedence on a global level since other countries may feel obliged to recognize the fact that the refugees were exposed to suffering.
Canada’s foreign policy for the Middle East also focuses on assisting to Gaza and the West Bank regions. The country recognizes that the more than 4.8 million people who live in Gaza and the West Bank face various humanitarian, economic, and governance challenges. For instance, more than a third of the population lives in extreme poverty whereby food insecurity and high unemployment levels are high. Furthermore, the private sector within the region is relatively uncompetitive because of the security concerns. Consequently, it cannot generate sufficient employment opportunities or even tax revenues. As such, the Canadian understands the problems that these regions face, hence offers aid in various forms to enhance the lives of the residents of these areas. One of the ways that the country facilitates growth in these regions is offering humanitarian assistance. The country’s foreign policy allows obligates the government to assist the vulnerable Palestinians within Gaza and West Bank on Humanitarian grounds (Narine 37). It achieves this by working with Works Agency for the Palestinian Refugees as well as the United Nations Relief program.
Furthermore, the Canadian government recognizes the need for increasing economic opportunities to the residents of Gaza and the West Bank. Such economic activities would enhance stability within the region and reduce their need for relying on international humanitarian aid (Mackay 25). Such initiatives include reducing the barriers to employability, employment, and even entrepreneurship. Additionally, the government invests in justice reforms in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank (Seligman 37). By implementing justice reforms, it will be possible for a peaceful, law-based society to be built, thus responding to the needs of the Palestinian people. Therefore, the Canadian government is on the forefront in enabling Gaza and the West Bank’s economic capacity and justice reforms, elements that may make the region more stable.
The Canadian government has been on the forefront in finding solutions to the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The government tends to support both Israel and Palestine as long as they operate within the confines of the international and humanitarian laws. Additionally, it recognizes the fact that Palestinians have a right to self-determination, hence the need for the creation of a democratic and sovereign state that is free from control by the Israeli government. At the same time, Canada appreciates the need for Israel to protect its people, as long as its actions are in line with the principles of the international law. Nevertheless, the Canadian government heavily objects the occupation of some territories by government. It terms the occupation as one of the barriers towards the implementation of a comprehensive and long-lasting solution to the conflict. The government is also objected to the violent acts, such as the terrorist attacks to meet political ends. As, various organizations, including Hezbollah, are listed as terrorist organizations. Therefore, it can be seen that the Canadian government fully supports the creation of a Palestinian state and the need for the conflict to end through finding viable long-term solutions to the crisis.
Mackay, Derek James Benik. “The Evolution of Canadian Diplomacy towards the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” (2015).
Seligman, Steven. “Canada’s Israel Policy under Justin Trudeau: Rejecting or Reinforcing the Legacy of Stephen Harper?.” American Review of Canadian Studies 48.1 (2018): 80-95.
Narine, Shaun. “14 Stephen Harper and the Radicalization of Canadian Foreign Policy.” The Blueprint: Conservative Parties and their Impact on Canadian Politics (2017): 314.
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