After a call from Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Canadian Premier Stephen Harper agreed to draft a statement for all G8 ministers to sign that expressed support for Zionist aspirations by removing any reference to the 1967 borders.The Group of 8, or G8, meeting was held Thursday and Friday in France, and included representatives from France, Britain, Russia, the US, Italy, Germany, Japan and Canada. Going into the meeting, all but one (Canada) supported the inclusion of a sentence supporting a return to the 1967 borders, with mutually agreed upon land swaps, as a basis for negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.
But with Canada’s refusal to accept the Final Declaration of the Summit unless that sentence was removed, the other nations succumbed to the pressure and removed the reference to 1967 borders. Instead, the Declaration, entitled âG8 Declaration: Renewed Commitment for Freedom and Democracyâ, included criticism of the Palestinian plan to declare statehood in September at the United Nations.
It called for a return to the peace process, but did not mention the ongoing violations of past signed agreements by Israeli authorities. It also did not mention the core demands of the Palestinian people and their representatives: the return of Palestinian refugees, the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and the release of Palestinian political prisoners.
The final statement by the G8 ministers also failed to specify the terms on which the ‘negotiations’ would be based, saying only, âThe framework for these negotiations is well known.â
According to the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, âThe Foreign Ministry instructed its envoys in the various capitals to ask that the G-8’s concluding statement emphasize three things: that a Palestinian state will arise only through direct negotiations, not through a unilateral move in the United Nations; opposition to Hamas-Fatah reconciliation as long as Hamas rejects the Quartet’s conditions; and opposition to a mention of the issue of 1967 borders and exchanges of territory.â
Ha’aretz also quoted Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in a statement to his counterpart in Canada, thanking him for Canada’s role in pushing through the statement that Isrel wanted, saying, âCanada is a true friend of Israel and with a realistic and proper view of things, it understands that the 1967 borders do not conform to Israel’s security needs and with the current demographic reality.â
Lieberman frequently refers to the Palestinian population as a âdemographic threatâ, and has openly called for the transfer of the one million Palestinians with Israeli citizenship to some place outside of Israel, as their presence, and their growth due to higher birth rates, threatens the âJewish characterâ of the state of Israel.
Since its creation in 1948 on the land of historic Palestine, Israel has never defined its borders, and has continually expanded onto Palestinian land. The state of Israel is currently constructing a wall throughout the West Bank that would, by the time it is completed, leave the Palestinians with 13% of their original land in three separate reservations completely surrounded by Israel, with no access to Jerusalem or any other country.
For the full text of the Declaration, see the link below.