John Baird under fire for recalling Canadian diplomats over Palestine vote

John Baird isn't feeling much love today.

Canada's foreign affairs minister is facing a barrage of criticism for the Harper governments 'antics' over Thursday's UN vote which saw Palestine declared a non-member observer 'state.'

The UN general assembly vote has driven the Canadian government to temporarily recall senior diplomats from Israel, the West Bank and UN mission in New York and Geneva.

In an interview with CBC News, on Friday, Baird said he was deeply disappointed by the UN vote, and recalled the the diplomats to "get a sense of where we go from here."

The General Assembly vote is an "impediment to peace," he said according to the Canadian Press.

Baird on diplomat recallForeign Affairs Minister John Baird talks about Canada's first response to a vote to give the Palestinians status as an observer state at the UN.

NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar believes the Harper government has been an impediment to peace.

[ Related: Middle East experts suggest that Canada has compromised its credibility in the region ]

"It's really disappointing to see the Conservatives...focus on threats and what I would call retaliation instead of steps to bring the two parties back to negotiation," he told Yahoo! Canada News.

"Really what's happening here is we see the Conservatives isolate Canada on this issue," he said.

"I don't think they understand that [their] decisions, their tone and their ultimatums isolate Canada not just from Palestinians but from the rest of the world."

Dewar adds that an NDP government would have acted differently.

"Everybody knows...the only way to resolve the situation is through a bilateral negotiation with the Israelis and Palestinians negotiating across the table. Our focus would have been that, not ultimatums," he said.

"How we would have voted — it's really hard to speculate without us being in government because this is not a black and white issue.  I can say this much, we would have not voted against it."

It seems that the NDP are on the same page as the rest of the world — only 8 other countries voted against the resolution to upgrade Palestine's status, 41 abstained from the vote and 138 voted for in favour.

Journalist and Middle East expert Eric Margolis told CTV News that he's perplexed by Canada's position.

"I don't know what Canada is doing in the middle of this business, where it has no real national interest," Margolis told Canada AM.

"Canada can't have it both ways, it can't want to be the neutral peacemaker and, at the same time, be out there and very militant on the issue of Palestine."

[ Related: Palestinians win de facto U.N. recognition of sovereign state ]

The Palestine vote has also brought the issue of Canada's relationship with the UN back to the forefront.

Senator Doug Finley — who ran the federal Conservative campaigns in 2006 and 2008 — raised the controversial topic on Twitter on Friday afternoon: