Jagmeet Singh Urges Canada to Support ICC if Arrest Warrants Issued for Netanyahu and Gantz

  • Naomi Dela Cruz
  • Canada
  • May 23, 2024

In a significant statement, Jagmeet Singh, leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP), has called on the Canadian government to support any potential arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz. Singh’s comments come amid escalating tensions and humanitarian crises in Gaza, drawing comparisons to past Canadian actions in international legal matters.

Singh emphasized that Canada, as a signatory to the ICC, has a legal and moral obligation to uphold international law. Canada must demonstrate its commitment to international justice by cooperating fully if the ICC issues arrest warrants, regardless of political alliances.

This stance places Singh and the NDP in stark contrast to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration, which has faced criticism for its handling of foreign affairs, particularly concerning the Gaza conflict. The Trudeau government was reluctant to call for a ceasefire until a substantial number of casualties occurred, highlighting what some see as a significant shortcoming in Canada’s foreign policy.

Critics have pointed out the apparent double standards in the Trudeau administration’s responses to international crises. While Canada has been vocal and decisive regarding the conflict in Ukraine, the response to the atrocities in Gaza has been markedly more muted. Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly and her department have been scrutinized for this discrepancy, with many arguing that the Canadian government should exhibit consistent principles in upholding human rights and international law.

Singh’s consistent message advocating for a ceasefire and greater humanitarian aid for Palestinians underscores a broader call for Canadian leadership on the global stage. The Canadian government must not blindly follow American policies but take a principled stand for peace and justice, especially in times of crisis.

This situation recalls the diplomatic and legal quandary Canada faced when pressured by then U.S. President Donald Trump to arrest Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou under the extradition treaty. The case highlighted Canada’s challenging position in balancing international legal obligations with political pressures from powerful allies.

Singh’s position signals a potential shift in Canadian foreign policy discourse, urging a more independent and justice-oriented approach. As the Gaza crisis continues to unfold, the NDP leader’s call for adherence to international legal frameworks and humanitarian principles may resonate with Canadians seeking a more proactive and ethical foreign policy.

In conclusion, while Singh’s consistent advocacy for international law and humanitarian aid garners praise, the Trudeau administration’s approach to foreign affairs remains under critical scrutiny. The unfolding events in Gaza and the potential actions of the ICC will undoubtedly test Canada’s commitment to upholding international justice and human rights.

“Let me be very clear: Canada was a signatory and one of the initial supporters of the founding of the ICC. That is a court that we support, and we’ve signed on to the international laws. To support that court means supporting the decision, and we would execute the warrant in relation to international law. This applies to everyone,” said NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, as reported by The Independent.