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December 4, 2016 / 4 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘john baird’

VP Biden Confirmed for AIPAC Speech as Iran Nukes Heat Up

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Vice President Joe Biden will speak next Monday to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, just as Iran’s nuclear program is taking center stage once again, with rumors that it is closer than ever to producing a nuclear weapon.

Israel has been insisting that Iran’s nuclear program poses an existential threat which must be stopped by any means available, including a military strike. Biden will undoubtedly express the U.S. most current policy regarding this threat.

The Obama administration has expressed its preference for a diplomatic solution, but also committed to military intervention should all the other means fail.

President Barack Obama, who addressed group last year, will visit Israel later this month and will, therefore, skip the AIPAC meeting this year.

The annual AIPAC Policy Conference is the largest gathering of the pro-Israel movement. Thousands of participants come from all 50 states to take part in “three of the most important days affecting Israel’s future,” as the organization’s website puts it.

The 2013 conference will be held March 3-5, in Washington, D.C. AIPAC has published the names of the speakers who will appear at its podium next week, with the following VIPs topping the list:

The Honorable Joe Biden

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak,

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird

House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA)

Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (R-TX)

House of Representatives Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

Senate Armed Services Committee Member John McCain (R-AZ)

Senate Armed Services Committee Member Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH)

Ambassador Dennis Ross

Elliott Abrams

Yori Yanover

Canada Tells Iranian Diplomats to Take a Hike, Israel Cheers on

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Canada suspended diplomatic relations with Iran, closing down its embassy in Iran and giving Iranian diplomats in Canada five days to leave its soil, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird announced Friday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly welcomed the decision, calling on the rest of the world to follow suit while, predictably, Iran denounced it.

Speaking in Vladivostok, Russia, Baird summed up the reasons for the decision saying that the Canadian government views “the Government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today.”

Baird went on to list a litany of actions by the Iranian government, from providing military assistance to the regime of Bashir Assad in Syria, “refus[ing] to comply with UN resolutions pertaining to its nuclear program,” threatening Israel’s existence, violating human rights and supporting terrorism.

Baird also said that Iran “has shown blatant disregard for the Vienna Convention and its guarantee of protection for diplomatic personnel” and therefore “Canada can no longer maintain a diplomatic presence in Iran” due to safety reasons.

Elaborating to reporters, Baird referred to the attack on the British Embassy in Tehran last November, the New York Times reported.

That same day, Baird and Canadian Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews also announced that Canada has listed both Iran and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism. That decision will allow victims of terror to sue both countries under Canada’s Justice for Victims of Terror Act.

Later in the day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for taking “a bold measure which displays leadership and sends a clear message to Iran and the entire world.”

Netanyahu said the decision was particularly important in light of the “anti-Semitism and hatred” displayed at the conference of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, which was attended by 120 countries and U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki Moon.

Netanyahu called on the international community to follow Canada’s example and reiterated his call on the world to set “clear red lines for Iran.”

Meanwhile, an Iranian foreign ministry spokeperson, Ramin Mehmanparast, condemned Canada decision, saying it was one of Canada’s “extremist policies in the field of foreign policy” and that it was “in fact, the pursuit of Zionist and British dictated policies,” the Tehran Times reported.

The Canadian government, led by Stephen Harper and Canada’s Conservative Party, has shown support for Israel on a number of instances as of late.

In November 2010, Harper said Canada was “morally obligated to take a stand” for Israel, adding that “as long as I am Prime Minister . . . Canada will take that stand, whatever the cost.”

In May this year, Baird spoke in Washington D.C. about the importance of defending Israel, comparing Iran to the Nazi threat of World War II, and visited Israel only a few weeks ago in August.

Canada also stood with Israel in opposing the Palestinian Authority’s bid for U.N. recognition as an independent state in 2011.

Daniel Tauber

Canadian Foreign Minister: ‘We’re Israel’s Best Friend’

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

At the end of a week in which the United Church of Canada, that country’s largest Protestant denomination called for a boycott of goods produced in “illegal” Israeli settlements, including East Jerusalem, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird declared that “Israel has no greater friend in the world today than Canada.”

The foreign minister was addressing the American Jewish Committee World Leaders Plenary, attended by an audience of more than 1,500, including many ambassadors in Washington, D.C. The foreign ministers of Cyprus and Germany also spoke at that Global Forum session.

“Our strong support for Israel is not about politics at home, and certainly not about winning popularity contests at the United Nations. Canada certainly has the scars to show for it,” Baird said. “It’s about values.”

Canada’s pro-Israel position, he said, was a matter of principle, based on the values of “freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law” that Canada shares with Israel and the U.S.

“At the UN and elsewhere, we make it clear that Israel’s right to exist is non-negotiable. We vote against one-sided and unfair resolutions,” he said.

Canada has not always been so friendly to Israel, said Baird, who recalled two incidents in his own career when his suggestions to speak up for the Jewish state were rebuffed as naive and politically unrealistic.

“That is no longer how Canada operates,” he declared, “Not under this Foreign Minister. And not under this Prime Minister.” Baird’s speech was interrupted by frequent applause.

The current Canadian government “rejects the concept of moral relativism in international relations,” said Baird, adding that in Canada’s view “liberal democracies and international terrorist groups are not equal.”

Baird remarked that over the decades Canada has “paid a high toll for the principles that guide us” in fighting against hatred and intolerance, and in defense of freedom, democracy and dignity in two world wars and other conflicts around the world.

“In Afghanistan, we have invested billions of dollars and sacrificed more than 150 lives to ensure that country never again becomes a haven for terrorism,” said Baird.

Baird also expressed his country’s commitment to human rights, specifically denouncing Iran for its persecution of women, Christians and Baha’i; China for driving Christianity underground; and Egypt for its treatment of Coptic Christians.

And he pointed out that AJC, similarly, “does important advocacy work” not just for Jews but supports “dignity and respect for all peoples.”

The Foreign Minister also stressed the importance of economic prosperity for areas of the world that are beset with unrest and violence. He described his government’s success in providing “jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity.”

Noting that Canada has the third largest oil reserves in the world, Baird spoke of the potential benefits to his country and the U.S. of the Keystone XL pipeline project, which AJC strongly supports.

Incidentally, the United Church of Canada report will be considered by the Church’s General Council, which meets in Ottawa in August. Until then, the report is not yet official Church policy.

Jewish Press Staff

Canada Supports Peace Talks Without Preconditions

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

John Baird, the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, gave a speech Monday supporting the Israeli government’s call for Palestinians to return to negotiations without preconditions.

“By resisting temptations to apply preconditions to talks and by avoiding measures that would seek to prejudge the outcome of the talks, the Palestinian leadership could immediately take steps toward a more measured, stable transition to statehood,” Baird was quoted as saying.

Baird also said he was “proud” to watch Netanyahu’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly last September. “One line in particular that resonated with me was the call to ’stop negotiating about the negotiations.’ “

Jewish Press Staff

Canada’s FM: ‘There Is No Better Friend to Israel Than Canada’

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

John Baird, the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, reaffirmed Canada’s unwavering friendship to Israel and commitment to her security in remarks after attending a new Holocaust education institute at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

“There is no better friend to Israel than Canada,” Baird declared. “We shall always be there for you, and in front of you.”

Last September, in the run-up to the PA’s statehood bid at the UN, Baird used his opportunity to speak to the United Nations General Assembly to blast vociferous anti-Israel nations and said that “Canada will not accept or stay silent while the Jewish state is attacked for defending its territory and its citizens.”

As part of their itinerary Baird and Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty will also meet with members of the PA in Judea and Samaria.

 

 

Jewish Press Staff

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/canadas-fm-there-is-no-better-friend-to-israel-than-canada/2012/01/31/

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