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World Opinion

December 14, 2012 • Editorial

Israel and Palestine

Despite it being one of the few nations with both the courage and the foresight to vote against the Palestinian Authority getting non-voting observer state status in the UN, Canada’s support of Israel is not unconditional.

It is close, but it’s not absolute.

This will come as a surprise, of course, to those who still believe Hamas is not a terrorist-backed government, and that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is not unwilling and unable to accept Israel as a Jewish state.

Canada, however, is not that naive.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s phone call recently to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, therefore, was not to pledge an all-for-one, one-for-all allegiance.

Instead, it was to chastise Israel for responding to the U.N.’s vote on Palestine’s observer state status by reviving settlement plans east of Jerusalem that have been plaguing peace talks since the first shovel broke ground.

This will come as a blow to Netanyahu, but it is an admonishment the Israeli leader needed to hear, particularly since it was coming from a country that has had Israel’s back through thick and thin, often with few questions asked.

Nonetheless, it had to have been a rather uncomfortable conversation, especially since it was friend talking to friend.

Uncomfortable, but necessary.

Those who still wish to believe Canada’s relationship with Israel is one-sided need to be reminded that Canada has invested some $300 million in aid to the Palestinian cause over the last five years, and much of it has been without restriction.

That must end now.

Expanded settlements do not help that process, and neither do Israel-bound missiles flying out of Gaza.

The UN has already done its damage.

Now it’s time for damage control.

Guest Editorial

Ottawa (Ontario) Sun

North Korea’s rocket launch

(The following was published before Wednesday’s actual launch of a three-stage rocket.)

North Korea is again preparing to launch a rocket, saying it plans to put a satellite into orbit. But this explanation is suspected to be a ruse to test-launch a long-range ballistic missile, like the botched one in April.

We strongly urge North Korea to call off the launch.

Pyongyang claims the project is for the “peaceful utilization of space” in accordance with instructions left by the country’s previous leader, Kim Jong Il, who died a year ago.

Every country has the right to utilize space for peaceful purposes. But rocket technology is essentially the same as missile technology. North Korea is developing nuclear arms in violation of international rules. Its acquisition of the missile technology would pose a serious threat to peace.

North Korea test-fired a missile and carried out an underground nuclear test in 2009. These moves prompted the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution banning the secluded communist regime from “making any launches using ballistic missile technology.”

Following what North Korea claimed was a satellite launch in April this year, the Security Council confirmed through a statement of its president that even a satellite launch is “a serious violation” of Security Council resolutions. In other words, Pyongyang is not allowed to launch any rocket, even under the pretext of peaceful utilization of space.

The Japanese government has postponed just-started talks at bureau chief level with North Korea. It has also deployed the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 surface-to-air missile system and Aegis ships to Okinawa and other areas to shoot down the North Korean missile if it veers off its planned flight path and falls toward Japanese territory.

The Japanese government should make all possible preparations in a cool-headed manner while continuing efforts to deal with the situation through international cooperation.

Guest Editorial

The Asahi Shimbun, Tokyo

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