It’s anti-Semitism to single out Israel for problems in Middle East, says Harper


JERUSALEM – Blaming Israel for the problems of the Middle East or demanding boycotts against the Jewish state comprise nothing more than a new form of anti-Semitism, says Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Harper made the remarks to the Knesset, becoming the first Canadian prime minister ever to speak directly to the assembled members of the Israeli parliament.

But while the speech drew plenty of sustained applause, at least one Arab member briefly tried to shout Harper down before angrily storming out of the chamber when the prime minister spoke of what he called “the twisted logic” of calling Israel an apartheid state.

“We have witnessed, in recent years, the mutation of the old disease of anti-Semitism and the emergence of a new strain,” Harper said.

He said criticism of Israeli government policy isn’t anti-Semitic, but criticism which only targets Israel while ignoring violence and oppression in its neighbours is unacceptable.

“It is, thus, a Canadian tradition to stand for what is principled and just, regardless of whether it is convenient or popular,” Harper said. “But, I would argue, support today for the Jewish state of Israel is more than a moral imperative. It is also of strategic importance, also a matter of our own, long-term interests.”

Harper said the forces that have threatened Israel “every single day of its existence” threaten all countries, “as 9-11 graphically showed us.”

The prime minister said he refuses to single out Israel for criticism, saying it is easy to follow the international crowd and focus only on that one country.

That approach is both weak and wrong, he said.

Harper said Canada holds that Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is absolute and that it would be quick to welcome a new sovereign Palestinian state if its leaders choose democracy and peace.

“Just as we unequivocally support Israel’s right of self-defence, so too Canada has long supported a just and secure future for the Palestinian people” Harper said

“And, I believe, we share with Israel a sincere hope that the Palestinian people and their leaders will choose a viable, democratic, Palestinian state, committed to living peacefully alongside the Jewish state of Israel.”

Harper also pledged solidarity with Israel on Iran, saying it will keep sanctions in place and steadfastly work to oppose Tehran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon.

His promise to maintain those sanctions drew one of the loudest and longest of several standing ovations from the assembled members.


It’s anti-Semitism to single out Israel for problems in Middle East, says Harper

  1. Harper is too stupid to know the difference between a religion and a nationality???

    • Given that Israel is comprised of both Jews and arab’s…..I would say you have the same problem.
      For the record….the Arab’s in Israel, are accorded more rights than are arabs in arab countries.

      • I’ve read this three times. Am I missing something, or is the first sentence just flat-out Gong Show missing of the point?

        • Sorry, TJCook….didn’t want to confuse.
          Emily’s disdain for anything Israeli, seems to extend beyond the borders of Israel…for some reason.
          She knows what I meant by the post.

  2. If we buy Harper’s simplistic world view, in which anyone who criticizes the state of Israel is “anti-Semitic”, that would make many Jews, in both Canada and Israel, anti-Semitic.

    • Not quite, but if taken literally Harper’s framing of the issue would put even jews in the bizarre position of having to qualify any criticism of Israeli policy with a matching one of her enemies. I very much doubt that is what he meant to convey, but it isn’t hard to draw that inference.

    • I would say Harper has a “realistic” world view of Israel, not simplistic.
      Simplistic is what you find on Canadian Universities during their “Israel Apartheid Week” hate fests.

      • Yup, a “realistic” world view shared only by himself and Netanyahu. Clinically, it’s called folie à deux.

        • Yes, and based upon your previous posts concerning Israel or Jews…….
          We’re well aware of how you view our Hebrew Brother’s and sisters.

          • Ah, and you would seem to be a card-carrying Con, spewing the party line that any criticism of Israel is “anti-Semitic”.

          • No,
            Only folks who go out of their way to criticise Israel……and only Israel.

          • Which, in Stevie’s world seems to include any and all criticism. His construction of the universe is so simple, it could be built in 5 minutes with a Leggo starter kit…as long as all the pieces were black or white.

          • Yes….just keep telling us your criticism of Israel is based upon its actions, and not the nature of its people.
            I’m sure some will believe you.

          • I will, thanks.

  3. This logic is similar to the his charge that supporting the other parties is to support socialism (the Conservatives can’t differentiate between communism and socialism). By the way, there is nothing wrong with socialism …look at the successful social democratic states in Scandinavia.

  4. I’ll stop the tip toeing for the time being and ask: How long does Israel expect a pass on everything because of the Holocaust?

    • Until such a time, as some people stop calling for another one.
      how’s that for tiptoeing?

      • Not bad But something is getting abused. Which is it? This has been done very skilfully.

    • Like I said….Harper….and many others….can’t tell the difference between a nationality and a religion. If Israelis [who are 20% Muslim] bombed Paris, Harper would excuse them because of the Holocaust.

      • EMily,
        The one thing you CAN be sure of. If a bomb went off in Paris due to an israeli… would no doubt be the work of one of these aforementioned 20% you brought up.

    • As long as we are all dumb enough to buy into it…..Politics and Religion are two different issues.

      • Not if you’re a Muslim.
        In Islam, religion IS politics. Always has been.

  5. The next logical step for Harper and Co. will be to be make any criticism of Israel a hate crime. The message is if you want to avoid trouble, keep your gob shut on this issue.

    • If Israel was in danger of being overcome by “speech” it wouldn’t be an issue.
      It’s the fact that this tiny country of under 8 Million people is surrounded by a Billion hostile Muslims who gladly send their children wrapped in explosives in the hope of taking out a few Jews in the process.
      I’m sure when Iran gets a nuke (which it will if Obama has his way) a lot of the critics of Israel will finally have their wish.

      • So why demonize critics of Israel in this way? Do we all have nukes in our pockets?

        • No, but Iran may soon enough.
          And, as you most likely know….Iran has been quite clear about what their intentions are if they acquire one.

          And strangely, enough…I bet that if Iran does get a nuke and use it on Israel……no one will care any longer if any Palestinians die as the results of it.

          • But free speech will not affect the balance of power in the Middle East.

            Anybody who thinks the mullahs will sacrifice themselves for an attack on Israel has not been paying attention. These guys have a big financial stake in this world and are in no hurry to leave it. Western countries like to say nice things but that doesn’t seem to affect their nuclear behaviour very much. When it comes to actually using nukes on people, the score remains democracies 1 nasty despots 0.

  6. ‘We share with Israel a sincere hope that the Palestinian people and their leaders will choose a viable, democratic, Palestinian state’

    Any Israeli administration that includes in its number Naftali Bennett does not share anything of the sort and it’s time we were clear about this. At least Bennett is honest enough to admit that he will always resist the creation of a Palestinian state. Harper’s buddy Netanyahu, on the other hand, will continue to pretend to negotiate as he paves the West Bank and moves its people eastward off their land. Whatever you call that process of expropriation really doesn’t matter – it remains fundamentally wrong in the 21’st Century.

    • You can’t negotiate with people who repeatedly threaten your entire population with extermination.
      Tell the Palestinians to recognize the right of Israeli’s to exist, and that will be your starting point. To this day, the palestinians still see Israel as an abberation that must end.
      In that vein, they have a lot in common with a certain segment of the NDP; and many Canadian University Professors.
      Remember, Israel only has to let their guard down ONCE….and that will be the end of them; and their country.

      • So you admit that Bibi and Co are not going to negotiate?

        I have to hand it to Bennett. He’s an honest racist (argue that if you can) and has made it clear he will not countenance a Palestinian state under ANY circumstances. Harper and Netanyahu, by contrast, are dishonest. They will continue to pretend that Israel would LOVE to reach a deal if only the Pals were more reasonable until..oh, look, we’ve paved the whole West Bank.