For good or ill, the crisis in the Middle East is a defining moment for Canadian foreign policy. The new Conservative government is apparently staking out a one-sided position on the Lebanon war and departing from Mideast policies adopted by previous Canadian governments. The consequences could be far-reaching -- and negative.

Contrary to frequently made allegations, previous Canadian governments have not been neutral between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Canada has pursued what successive governments consciously characterized as a "fair-minded and principled" policy, calling the issues as they saw them. Canada has supported Israel's right to exist since...

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