Stephen Harper announces Israel visit, the breaks into song


TORONTO – Prime Minister Stephen Harper basked in the glow of support from members of Canada’s Jewish community on Sunday, announcing a first-ever trip to Israel next year and then breaking into song at a gala fundraising dinner.

Hundreds of kilometres away from the battle-like atmosphere of Parliament Hill where the Senate scandal rages on, Harper was clearly relaxed and comfortable enough at the Jewish National Association dinner to belt out his own rendition of the Who’s “The Seeker” and a string of other classic songs.

But first, he announced an official visit to Israel, as well as Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

“I’ll tell you, friends, what I’m going to be doing in January — I’m going to be going and visiting the state of Israel,” he said to enthusiastic applause.

Harper called Israel a “light of freedom and democracy in what is otherwise a region of darkness,” and reiterated that Canada will continue to back it in the United Nations and elsewhere abroad.

“We understand that the future of our country and of our shared civilization depends on the survival and thriving of that free and democratic homeland for the Jewish people in the Middle East,” he said.

Harper, who skipped his usual suit-and-tie look for a dark shirt open at the collar, then abruptly stopped his speech and launched into a musical interlude for his rapt audience.

“This really is a show of affection of love, and I really appreciate that, and I want to show you a bit of affection and love in return,” said Harper, who took charge on the keyboard and lead vocals with his backing band, Herringbone, for a run of 60’s and 70’s hits.

He started with the Who’s “The Seeker” and continued on with several more songs, including Buddy Holly’s “Oh Boy” and Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” to the delight of the thousands at the event.

And Harper tickled more than the ivories, getting the crowd laughing during some between-song joking about one of his bandmates having a “lost weekend.”

“He ended up in Boston at a baseball game in a drunken stupor. It’s a Herringbone fact.”

The Harper concert concluded with an encore of The Beatles “Hey Jude,” while a throng of the well-dressed crowd bunched around the stage, waving candles grabbed from dinner tables and snapping photos on smartphones.

Harper has been unafraid to sing in public in the past, getting up on the stage at the Calgary Stampede last summer and also performing at an Ottawa gala. But at seven songs the set list for Sunday night’s gig may be have stretched longer than the prime minister’s other musical moments.

After the set was over, Harper was lauded as a “real leader” in a video message by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Stephen doesn’t want to be politically correct. He wants to be correct.”

Sunday’s gala fundraiser was to acknowledge Harper’s staunch political support of Israel. His pro-Israeli policies have sowed resentment in Canada’s Arab and Muslim communities.

The dinner was put on by the Jewish National Fund’s Canadian chapter, which raised $5.7 million to build a bird sanctuary in Israel to be named after Harper.

Spokesmen for the Jewish National Fund and the Prime Minister’s Office wouldn’t say last week what persuaded the prime minister to lend his name to the Stephen J. Harper Hula Valley Bird Sanctuary Visitor and Education Centre.

Not everyone gave Harper a warm embrace.

Outside the Metro Toronto Convention Centre where the dinner was held, dozens of protesters turned out to protest Harper’s political agenda and his environmental policies.

“Harper, Harper, will you see, Palestine will be free,” they chanted.

“The main message really is to push Canada to end its complicity with these violations of international law that Israel commits,” said Palestinian activist Yafa Jarrar.

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Stephen Harper announces Israel visit, the breaks into song

  1. Harper is off to visit his real constituents.

    • Theirs talk under way with Harper and his garage band about cutting a new hit single to promote the 2015 election campaign. Rumor has it, the title of the new single will be ” Good To Go ” and the flip side will be called ” No Brainer “. All proceeds go to the Harper Chinchilla and Panda Foundation of Pandering.

      • This comment was deleted.

        • yeah, those damn Palestinians, living in their open air prisons surrounded by Israeli tanks and weaponry; why dont they just die already so the Israelis can finish taking all their land?

          • Johnny boy…..clearly you have never been there. I don’t know of many open air prisons with modern hospitals and 5 star hotels, both of which are present in Gaza and the West bank.
            Here’s a hint for you. If you are a “Gazan” you are in fact and Egyptian. If you are from the West Bank, you were originally a Jordanian. There is no such thing as a Palestinian, unless of course you include the Jews, who were living in that region when Rome named the place Palestine.
            But don’t listen to me……just keep reading the pamphlets from York University during the bocott Israel week.

          • We have our own Gaza here, less the bombs, its called the First Nations Reserves. We only have to look in our own back yard. we don’t need to go to Gaza.

          • And like the Palestinians….many of the problems on the reserves in Canada are self-inflicted.
            The difference of course, is that the folks on Reserves can be reasoned with, as they are for the most part reasonable people. The Palestinians on the other hand…..can only be reasoned with if you first promise to kill all the Jews prior to any agreement being reached.
            Yeah…great comparison.

          • So James R. Halifax sez

            if you first promise to kill all the Jews prior to any agreement being reached

            You know you sound like exactly like a fanatical terrorist in the making. Nobody here said anything about Jews except you.

            But if you lived in the West Bank, they would call you a settler.

          • I live in Canada, and some people still call me a settler.
            Doesn’t make it true…whereas, the call of “Death to Jews” is repeated daily in some circles. Mostly on Arab TV, and Palestinian schools……but if you look real hard, you can find the same sentiment at most Canadian Universities to a certain extent.
            Or…in some cases, in those who respond to my comments.
            What say you Diogenes? Been to York lately?

          • You should try reading all the Israeli newspapers. There’s plenty of racist Jews there you could learn more of your cheap lies and propaganda from including those who daily say kill all the Palestinians and Canadians and Americans and Europeans and Russians. You’d fit right in there.

          • They are merely condemning thieves as does the Bible.

          • You can call them martians if you like, but they still have rights.

        • Even the Bible condemns thieves.

    • You mean the ones who don’t find the time to strap explosives to their kids, but prefer to actually raise and love them?
      yeah….Harper’s just nuts to support those folks.

      • yeah, the several million people living in the occupied territories are all terrorists; we should just nuke them so Israel can continue to steal their land

        in fact, lets set up camps – we can concentrate them there

        • Not all of them johnny boy…but if the surveys taken in the territories themselves are to be belived….it is the majority of them.
          As for the “camps” remark…….it’s clear you are still upset the Germans weren’t better organized. Maybe next time John….but for now, you’re out of luck. Until then, just keep pretending your real concern is the palestinians…..I’m sure some people will believe you.

      • You should thank Israelis for that since they brought terrorism to the region.

      • To raise them and love them in their ever shrinking West Bank.

  2. Is he coming back?

    • hope not

  3. Man needs a butterfly net.

  4. Actually, it’s quite a propos that Israel is naming a bird sanctuary after him as he’s completely loony and the most pathetic lame duck PM this country has ever had to endure. What a laughable embarassment. He’s even worse than Rob Ford because he takes himself seriously. Wow – talk about a squirmable event with this nuthatch boring his captive audience into stunned amusement.

    • hes won 3 elections, going on four. you cant be a ‘lame duck’ as you say and win 3 elections. im sorry

      • when people are as stupid as you are, its certainly possible

  5. ”We are truly touched by your friendship and we admire your integrity.”

    – Benjamin Netanyahu

    ROTFLMAO – Hey – if it comes from Bibi, then it must be true!

    Just wondering – was Nigel Wright sitting at one of the “Leadership tables” sponsored by Gerald Swartz of Onex or the Heather Reisman Foundation? Or maybe at the table sponsored by RBC, Goldman Sachs, or the government’s favourite auditing firm, Deloitte.

    At $100,000 per leadership table, I hope the meal was good.


    As Foreign Minister John Baird proclaimed – “the biggest kosher dinner in Canadian history”


    It’s kind of amazing that with so much pork floating around, the meal was kosher!

  6. It is good that Harper still has some friends. Maybe he will retire to a kibbutz when
    he loses the next election.

    • Too socialist . . . I think his thing would be more with settlers in the occupied territories

      • True.

  7. This comment was deleted.

    • yeah, thats it, we are all anti semites – it has nothing to do with criticism of the illegal wars and repossessions that Israel has engaged in over the years

      nothing to do with millions of people living in armed camps, having had their land, houses and possessions stolen

      • You can make all the claims you want, but your real feelings on the issue are quite clear.
        In fact, I suspect there are some “palestinian” activists, who would gladly see the entire population of the territorries wiped out….as long as the Jews were gone with them.
        You aren’t fooling anyone….but keep it up if it makes you feel better.

    • Yawn. Ad hominems. How sophisticated.

      Harper’s constituents are supposed to be in Canada, not Israel. Not only that, but a majority of Canadians disagree with his stance on middle eastern politics. Only a tiny percentage of the country supports him – namely, a xenophobic culture that believes in supremacy, and a band of Christian nitwits who support them.

      • Strange James,
        Why do you demand Harper only pay attention to the folks in Canada, yet insist that Canadians need to worry about Palestinians?
        I don’t recall many Jewish folks in Canada planning to commit terror attacks, but I do seem to recall that almost ALL of the potential terror attacks foiled on Canadian soil seem to come from the very folks who would most easily identify with the Palestinians.
        Must be a coincidence eh?
        For the record…i’m not a Christian, but I can pick out the good guys from the bad guys. Here’s a hint: The Good guys…are not the ones who spend their days trying to figure out how to kill westerners.

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