Palestinians could face ‘consequences’: Baird

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has told a powerful pro-Israel lobby that Palestinians will feel “consequences” from Canada if they pursue the Jewish state at the International Criminal Court. Baird issued the warning just as the federal government considers whether to end hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to the Palestinians when it expires at the end of this month.

OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has told a powerful pro-Israel lobby that Palestinians will feel “consequences” from Canada if they pursue the Jewish state at the International Criminal Court.

Baird issued the warning just as the federal government considers whether to end hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to the Palestinians when it expires at the end of this month.

Baird delivered his message to an approving audience Sunday in Washington at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

An online video of the event shows Baird receiving a boisterous, upbeat welcome from the delegates because of his and the Harper government’s unwavering support of Israel.

Baird’s office offered no explanation for why it didn’t publicize his appearance there prior to the event, and referred calls about the funding to the Canadian International Development Agency.

Canada strongly opposed the Palestinians’ successful effort in November to win elevated status at the UN, and has warned them against using it to file an international legal complaint against Israel.

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