19th November 2010
Hat tip to CIF WATCH for this “Profile in courage”.
Harper: “Not just because it is the right thing to do, but because history shows us, and the ideology of the anti-Israel mob tell us all too well, that those who threaten the existence of the Jewish people are in the longer term a threat to all of us.”
Stephen Harper sounds at times remarkably like Tony Blair. For instance, “I know, by the way, because I have bruises to show for it” and “not just because it is the right thing to do.”
Harper: “But when Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack, is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand. Demonisation, double standards, de-legitimisation. The three D’s it is the responsibility of us all to stand up to. And I know by the way, because I have bruises to show for it, that whether it is at the United Nations, or any other international forum the easiest thing to do is simply to just get along and go along with this anti-Israeli rhetoric. To pretend it is just about being even-handed and to excuse oneself with the label of ‘honest broker’. There are after all a lot more votes, a lot more in being anti-Israeli than in taking a stand. But as long as I am prime minister whether it is at the United Nations, the Francophonie or anywhere else Canada will take that stand whatever the cost.”
The Francophonie (Wikipedia)
Mr Harper made his remarks at the start of a two-day conference on anti-Semitism that is being held on Parliament Hill during Holocaust Education Week. Is it just me or are things hotting up in support of Israel these days? OK, it’s just me. It’s clearly not even warm for Israel at The Guardian.
- CiF Israel = Nazi Germany comment of the day
- Pharaoh Revisionism Watch (another contribution by JVPs anti-Israel youth movement)
Excerpt from this report from CTV News
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he is prepared to suffer any political backlash that comes his way for speaking out against anti-Israel rhetoric.
Harper told an audience Monday that while Israel is receptive to fair criticism, Canada is obligated to stand up for its ally when it comes under attack from others.
The prime minister’s use of the phrase “honest broker” is an apparent reference to a recent speech made by Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff.
Ignatieff criticized the Harper government for using Israel as a wedge issue with his political opponents in Canada, at the expense of the country’s influence on peace in the Middle East. The Liberal leader called for a return to a time when Canada was perceived to be an honest broker in the global community.
After his caucus meeting on Monday, Ignatieff criticized Harper for suggesting that Canada’s recent failure to secure a seat on the UN Security Council can be blamed on the federal government’s support for Israel.
“They’re trying to claim it’s a moral victory,” Ignatieff told reporters.
“It’s a defeat, especially if you want to support the state of Israel. What is the institution that’s enforcing sanctions against Iran, which is a strategic threat to Israel? The Security Council. If you’re not on it, you’re not playing.”
Ignatieff also reiterated his party’s support of a two-state solution for peace in the Middle East.
“Why? Because we believe it’s essential for the security of Israel, and because we think it’s essential for the security of the Palestinian people,” Ignatieff said.
He also added that “we are not neutral and will never be neutral between terrorist organizations and democratic states. That’s been the position of Canada for a very long time, that’s the position of the Liberal Party.”
Meanwhile, the group Independent Jewish Voices, which is not taking part in the conference, accused the Harper government of trying to suppress debate about Israel.
On CTV’s Power Play, spokesperson Diana Ralph said the government is trying to “criminalize criticism of Israel.”
“What this conference is actually about isn’t anti-Semitism,” Ralph said. “What it’s about is attacking and limiting dissent and criticism on expressing criticisms of Israel. And the thing is that when Harper says today that Israel is a country under attack, Israel is being attacked for its violations of human rights.”
Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here
“All countries need a leader who isn’t afraid to fight terrorism. I believe Mr. Blair did a necessary job in helping his allies. Are we all just supposed to lie down and wait for them to come for us, I don’t think so.”
And – “Mr. Blair is one of the finest politicians to have had the privilege of serving the United Kingdom, and Britons are fortunate to have had him as their Prime Minister. Time will show that Mr. Blair’s approach to affairs in the Middle East were and remain correct. From a member of the Commonwealth, thank you, Mr. Blair, for your continued service to legitimate and lasting (and not convenient or politically expedient) freedom.”
AND – “Tony Blair was the greatest Prime Minister since Winston Churchill and the only regret I have he didn’t get my vote as I live in Canada.”
AND – “I am sick and tired of television and radio interviewers asking the same old questions over and over, regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq, presumably they hope Mr Blair will let slip some secret information which they would then use against him. History will show if the decision was the right one, (I believe it was) but people must accept that Tony Blair is an honourable man, and made his decision based on the known facts and not with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.”
Tags: Anti-Zionism, antisemitism, Canada, Canadian Alliance, Holocaust Education Week, Israel, jews, Michael Ignatieff, Middle East, prime minister, stand up for Israel, Stephen Harper, Tony Blair, UN, United Nations, united nations security council, whatever the cost