Baird in the Middle East

Canada’s foreign policy has devolved under the current government, summarized well by Bob Rae in a recent blog post. John Baird’s meeting this week in east Jerusalem adds another facepalm to the already disgraced state of the country’s foreign affairs.

Baird met with the Israeli justice minister – the government’s chief negotiator with Palestinians. He met with her in east Jerusalem, which is across the Green Line and into disputed territory. Under international law, the area is occupied territory, and past ministers have known the significance of not crossing the line.

Baird held the meeting where he did for one of two reasons. Either he met there to be purposefully provocative and remind Palestinians that Canada is fully on the Israeli side, or he did not know the significance of the Green Line. The latter is worse but much less likely. Baird might be backwards in most of his actions as foreign affairs minister, but he’s smart enough to know what he’s doing. For Canada, this is a frightening prospect.

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