The Provocative Assertion: Israel’s Finance Minister Dismisses Palestinian Identity

In a whirlwind of controversy, Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has come under fire for his brazen claim that Palestinians possess neither history, culture, nor peoplehood. Uttered at a conference in France, Smotrich’s words were far-reaching, resonating even within the occupied West Bank—a territory he is responsible for overseeing.

A Canadian Rebuke: Global Affairs Canada Disapproves

Indignant Response to Smotrich’s Comments

Outraged by Smotrich’s audacious remarks, a spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada minced no words in labeling the statements “shameful” and “unacceptable.” Reiterating Canada’s unwavering support for a two-state solution, the spokesperson implored the Israeli government to repudiate the comments, calling for a de-escalation of tensions amid the forthcoming holiday season.

A Timely Gathering: High-Level Talks Amid Escalating Strife

As Smotrich’s speech sent shockwaves through the international community, Israeli and Palestinian officials convened in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in a bid to discuss de-escalation strategies. The timing was critical: Ramadan and Passover loomed large, promising a congregation of Jewish and Muslim worshippers in Jerusalem’s Old City—a notorious crucible for conflict.

Global Outrage: International Condemnation Gathers Steam

A Chorus of Disapproval

Smotrich’s inflammatory comments did not go unnoticed. Echoes of condemnation reverberated from the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations. These Western allies decried Smotrich’s language, branding it unhelpful, perilous, and counterproductive.

Palestinian PM’s Retort: Incitement to Violence Alleged

A Heated Rejection

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh vehemently denounced Smotrich’s remarks, accusing the Israeli Finance Minister of inciting violence. The West Bank, already a tinderbox, has witnessed a dramatic upswing in hostilities over the past year, with Israeli military raids, Jewish settler-instigated violence, and Palestinian attacks all contributing to a precarious situation.

Domestic Turmoil and Canada’s Stance: In Support of Democracy

Crisis Within: Israel’s Internal Struggles

Israel’s internal turmoil, marked by widespread protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposed judicial system reforms, has exacerbated tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly broached the subject with her Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen, underscoring Canada’s commitment to democracy, the rule of law, and the institutions that uphold these principles.