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A former official with the U.S. delegation to the U.N. revealed recently a major reason why Canada lost its bid last week to gain a seat on the Security Council. Richard Grenell, a former press officer, said the American delegation deliberately sat on its hands during the run up to the vote that ended in a defeat for a staunch ally of Israel and America’s closest neighbour.
“U.S. State Department insiders say that U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice not only didn’t campaign for Canada’s election but instructed American diplomats to not get involved in the weeks leading up to the heated contest,” Grenell reported on a Foxnews website.
If true, this would be just another manifestation of the Obama administration’s anti-Israel bias. The Canadian Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper is known as Israel’s staunchest ally in the West and, as a strong, unabashed ally of the Jewish state, the Harper government has steadfastly refused to “water down” its foreign policy just to please the U.N.’s anti-Israeli petty dictators and tyrants and to win the seat. To prove its commitment to its principled stance, on the day before last week’s vote Canada announced it was strengthening its trading relationship with Israel.
“The principles that underlie the policy of foreign affairs, freedom, democracy, human rights and common law, are the foundations of each of these decisions. Some would say that because of our attachment to these values, we lost the seat. If that is the case, so be it,” said Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon after his country’s historic loss.
Canada has served on the Security Council in every decade since the U.N.’s founding in 1945 and had never lost a vote until last week. Portugal wound up getting the seat, designated for a Western country, after Canada withdrew its candidacy for lack of support after the voting’s second round.
Rice herself was on a tour of Africa when the vote was taken, which columnist David Frum calls “a strange thing for an UN ambassador to do at such a critical moment.” Such an unusual development was most likely not coincidental, since Grenell states that Rice “could have had her team work to Canada’s benefit. Instead she instructed her colleagues to steer clear, effectively abandoning Canada.” It appears Rice’s absence was part of the plan.
In his column on the Canadian defeat, Frum also theorizes American non-support for Canada stems from a deal between the United States and Brazil that involved Brazil supporting Colombia, America’s ally in South America, in the same Security Council vote last week. As a result, Colombia did successfully obtain a seat allotted to South America. Brazil, Frum writes, also helped the United States block Venezuela from getting a Security Council seat in 2006. The “payback” was America had to support Portugal’s bid last week over Canada’s.
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