Montreal, September 16, 2020 — Amid growing controversy over a possible International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into Israel, newly published results from a survey conducted by EKOS Research Associates show that Canadians do not want Israel to be treated differently than other countries when it comes to consequences for alleged war crimes or human rights violations. The survey found that Canadians support an ICC investigation of any country accused of war crimes, including Israel, and they do not want Canada to overlook Israel’s human rights violations. The survey further found that Canadians do not support recognizing Jerusalem as exclusively Israel’s capital.
The survey was co-sponsored by Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV), and the United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine-Israel (UNJPPI). All survey results, charts, and the report entitled “No Double Standards: Canadians Expect Greater Impartiality vis-à-vis Israel” can be accessed here.
The results show that a strong majority of Canadians want the ICC to investigate war crimes wherever they occur, including those committed by Israel. 84% of Canadians would support an investigation of Israeli officials. Further, only one-third of Canadians think that Canada should consider stepping in if it is opposed to an investigation.
“Canadians support an impartial ICC, and they oppose the idea that Canada should interfere in investigations it doesn’t like,” Thomas Woodley, President of CJPME. Early this year, Canada surprised many when it attempted to deter a possible ICC investigation into alleged war crimes by Israeli and Palestinian officials. “Evidently, Canadians do not think that Israel, or any other government, should be shielded from accountability over its actions,” said Woodley.
The survey results also show that most Canadians do not want their government to overlook any country’s human rights violations, including Israel’s, no matter the circumstances. For example, 86% of Canadians disagree with the idea that Canada should overlook Israel’s human rights violations just because it is considered to be an ally.
“This demonstrates that Canada’s tendency to apply double standards when it comes to Israel is very unpopular with Canadians,” said IJV’s National Coordinator Corey Balsam. “Although successive governments have tended to mute their criticism of Israel, Canadians believe that Israel’s violations should be treated as seriously as those of any other country.”
The results of the poll also show that four out of five Canadians (82%) want Canada to maintain its current policy on Jerusalem and continue to call for the city to be shared, rather than recognizing Jerusalem as exclusively Israel’s capital. Even among Conservative Party supporters, a slim majority support maintaining Canada’s current policy on Jerusalem (54%). Despite this, newly minted Conservative leader Erin O’Toole has pledged to move the Canadian embassy to Jerusalem: a move that would break with longstanding Canadian policy and potentially further ignite tensions in the region.
“When it comes to Jerusalem, Canadians do not want their government to copy the unbalanced foreign policy of Donald Trump” said George Bartlett, chair of UNJPPI. “It is encouraging to see that even a majority of Conservative Party supporters disagree with their new leader’s promise to move Canada’s embassy to Jerusalem.”
The survey was conducted by EKOS Research Associates between June 5 and June 10, 2020, with a random sample of 1,009 Canadian adults aged 18 and over. The margin of error associated with the sample is plus or minus 3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
For more information, please contact:
Michael Bueckert, VP CJPME: 613-315-7947 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Corey Balsam, National Coordinator IJV: (514) 437-2940 or email@example.com
Ken McEvoy, Treasurer, UNJPPI, 905 352-2099 or firstname.lastname@example.org