Canada and the Middle East
In Theory and Practice
Publication Year: 2007
Canada and the Middle East: In Theory and Practice provides a unique perspective on one of the world’s most geopolitically important regions. From the perspective of Canada’s diplomats, academics, and former policy practitioners involved in the region, the book offers an overview of Canada’s relationship with the Middle East and the challenges Canada faces there. The contributors examine Canada’s efforts to promote its interests and values—peace building, peacekeeping, multiculturalism, and multilateralism, for example—and investigate the views of interested communities on Canada’s relations with countries of the Middle East.
Canada and the Middle East will be useful to academics and students studying the Middle East, Canadian foreign policy, and international relations. It will also serve as a primer for Canadian companies investing in the Middle East and a helpful reference for Canada’s foreign service and journalists stationed abroad by providing a background to Canadas interestsand role in the region.
Co-published with the Centre for International Governance Innovation
Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
1. Canada and the Middle East: Ambivalence or Engagement?
In July 2006, the Middle East took violent and unprecedented centre stage for Canadians as war unexpectedly broke out between Israel and Hizbullah. This was no ordinary, remote crisis. Relatives and loved ones of Canadians in both Lebanon and Israel were at mortal risk as the fighting raged and bombs and rockets rained down. Some 40,000 Canadian citizens were trapped in the fighting and nine Canadians died, including a Canadian peacekeeper. On...
2. Practitioners’ Perspectives on Canada–Middle East Relations
Canadians are widely respected internationally, as much for how they live with each other at home as for what they do abroad. Canada is seen as a successful, democratic, and pluralistic society with a strong rule of law, a country that values diversity and that integrates minorities as well as or better than any other country. Internationally, Canada’s history as an independent voice, without colonial or imperial encumbrances...
3. Applying Canadian Principles to Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Middle East
As Canadians seek to define their international role for the early 21st century, they find themselves confronted by divergent visions of their country’s identity, values, and fundamental interests. Events in the Middle East---from the war in Iraq to the hostilities between Israel and Hizbullah in the summer of 2006---have a remarkable capacity to sharpen discussions about national interests and purposes. The search for national consensus on foreign...
4. Talking One Talk, Walking Another: Norm Entrepreneurship and Canada’s Foreign Policy in the Middle East
Canada’s image in the Middle East reflects the perception that Canadians themselves commonly hold of their country’s foreign policy: a staunch multilateralist middle power and norm promoter. This image derives from the history of Canada’s involvement in the Arab-Israeli conflict: the role of Lester Pearson in the establishment of the Blue Helmets, Ottawa’s role in the Middle East peace process, especially with regard to the question...
5. Canada’s Role in the Israeli-Palestine Peace Process
Like most of the international community, “Canada is committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, and the creation of a sovereign, independent, viable, democratic and territorially contiguous Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel” (Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade [DFAIT] 2007). The key challenge facing Canadian decision makers, however, has been how...
6. Canadian Interests and Democracy Promotion in the Middle East
In January 2006, Hamas won a sweeping majority in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections. Despite having helped facilitate and monitor the elections, the government of Canada was the first state to cut off funding to the Palestinian Authority following Hamas’s victory in the elections for its refusal to recognize Israel and for its terrorist activities.2 The United States and the European Union followed suit. The issue of Hamas’s electoral...
7. Promoting Civil Society Advocacy in the Middle East and at Home: Non-Governmental Organizations, the Canadian International Development Agency, and the Middle East Working Group, 1991–2001
Established in 1968, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) aims to combat poverty, promote human rights, and enhance sustainable development in the developing world. Over the past 20 years alone, CIDA has disbursed more than $1.7 billion to support a variety of programs in the Middle East (see tables 7–1 and 7–2). In the 1980s and ’90s, nongovernmental organizations (ngos) began to emerge as more significant players in Canadian foreign and development policy. Hitherto at...
8. The International Development Research Centre and the Middle East: Issues and Research
The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is a rarity in global development organizations: it funds southern researchers in order to build research capacity in the developing world. The idrc has been active in the Middle East for more than 30 years and has funded development research on a myriad of topics, including civil society, gender, agriculture, water...
9. Canada’s Economic Interests in the Middle East
Canada–Middle East economic relations have clearly not been a top priority for Canada and are never going to be under any reasonable scenario. Still, Canadian business activity in the Middle East has produced very worthwhile benefits to Canada’s economy and to our trading partners. This chapter argues that there are significant potential benefits still to be had...
10. Canada’s Jewish and Arab Communities and Canadian Foreign Policy
There are multiple factors and considerations that determine a state’s foreign policy, including global developments, geo-strategic location, individual leaders and their cognitive or emotional frameworks, public opinion, and the interests and efforts of domestic political actors. The relative weight of any factor varies across time and circumstance, but it has been argued that Canadian foreign policy is, in part, or should...
11. Inland Refugee Claimants from the Middle East and Humanitarianism in Canadian Foreign Policy
The United Nations reports that between 2005 and 2050 an estimated 98 million migrants will leave their home countries, and nearly a tenth of the flow will come to Canada—approximately 200,000 people annually, of which close to 14 percent will be refugees. Whether Canada is prepared to address the needs of asylum seekers, particularly those coming from the...
Notes on the Contributors