Canada recalls diplomats from Israel, West Bank

Updated 30 November 2012
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Canada recalls diplomats from Israel, West Bank

TORONTO: Canada’s foreign affairs minister said yesterday he is reviewing the country’s relationship with the Palestinian Authority and temporarily recalling senior diplomats from Israel, the West Bank and the United Nations missions in New York and Geneva to assess the implications of Thursday’s UN General Assembly vote to recognize the Palestinians as a non-member observer state.
John Baird said in a statement he is deeply disappointed by the UN vote, in which Canada joined Israel, the United States and a few other countries in voting “no.” He said the only way to peace in the Middle East is through negotiations, not what he called unilateral actions.
Recalling the diplomats will “inform Canada’s response” to the vote, he said.
Baird, whose Conservative government is a staunch ally of Israel, traveled to New York to personally vote against it and gave a speech where he suggested Canada will take retaliatory measures against the Palestinians.
Baird didn’t say what Canada would do, but a senior Canadian official said Canada has no intention at this point of cutting off relations or sending Palestinian diplomats home. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said the government “will be thoughtful and deliberate in taking steps to express our displeasure at this unilateral action.”
US lawmakers have threatened to cut off aid if the Palestinians use their newfound status against Israel. That could be an option for Canada, which has provided about $300 million of aid to the Palestinians over the last five years.


Egypt court orders one month YouTube block over Islam film

Updated 26 May 2018
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Egypt court orders one month YouTube block over Islam film

  • A lower court had ordered the video sharing site be blocked in 2013 after it carried the video "Innocence of Muslims"

CAIRO: Egypt’s top administrative court ordered authorities Saturday to block video-sharing website YouTube in the country for a month, after a years-long appeals process over a film denigrating Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, a judicial official said.
A lower court had ordered the video sharing site be blocked in 2013 after it carried the video “Innocence of Muslims,” but the case was appealed by Egypt’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and its ruling was stayed.
The 2012 amateurish film depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a buffoon and a paedophile, and sparked a wave of angry anti-American protests across the Middle East in which more than 30 people were killed.
Washington sought to keep a lid on the demonstrations by saying the controversial film was made privately with no official backing.
US officials said freedom of speech laws prevented them from stopping the production of inflammatory material.
The ruling is considered final and cannot be appealed.
As of Saturday afternoon, YouTube was still accessible in Cairo.