Stephen Harper's diplomacy -

Stephen Harper’s diplomacy


The Prime Minister commends President Barack Obama’s comments on Israel in their “totality,” but blocks any mention of 1967 from appearing in the G8’s communique.

Diplomats involved in Middle East discussions at the G8 summit said Ottawa had insisted that no mention of Israel’s pre-1967 borders be made in the leaders’ final communique, even though most of the other leaders wanted a mention.

President Barack Obama last week laid out a vision for peace in the Middle East, saying pre-1967 borders should be a basis of talks to achieve a negotiated settlement. Israel quickly dismissed the idea as unworkable. “The Canadians were really very adamant, even though Obama expressly referred to 1967 borders in his speech last week,” one European diplomat said.


Stephen Harper’s diplomacy

  1. “Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar said Monday that it was clear that US President Barack Obama’s platform was not so different from the one adopted by former US president George W. Bush. According to Zahar, the 1967 borders, while “sacred,” were not the final borders on which the Palestinians should settle. 

    Speaking to Al-Emirate Al-Youm, Zahar asked “Why won’t we talk about the 1948 borders? Why won’t we discuss the partition plan which was internationally  recognized?” Jerusalem Post, May 23, 2011

    Neither Hamas nor Israel want 1967 borders, is it really a good negotiating tactic to demand something neither party desires?

    Harper is sensible, Obama and others like him are utopians disconnected from world. 

    “President Barack Obama last week laid out a vision for peace in the Middle East, saying pre-1967 borders …. ”

  2. And here I thought Canada was at its best when it pursues an independent foreign policy — especially one that is independent of the United States.

    • Not when it’s the “wrong” policy though.

      • So it’s only “right” when France or Iran agree?

        Usually the left-wing loves it when Canada is different than the States on foreign policy. Fascinating.

        • Different from the Republican view, not necessarily the States.  Because Republicans are always wrong about everything.  Democrats are only wrong about 70% of the time.  This is not intended to be a factual statement.

          • This is not intended to be a factual statement.


    • Independent of Israel might be an idea.  Harper has nothing to add to this debate, nobody is listening to him. Negotiation is a foreign concept to him.

      • You have a knee-jerk resentment of Israel? Left-wingers like you usually love it when Canada is different than the States on the world stage. Again, fascinating.

        • Knee jerk leftwingers – just when you think you have them figured eh Baby Einstein? 

      • Why shouldn’t Canada consider Israel’s position just as equally as the Palestinians?

        And Clearly the entire G8 listened to Harper. They changed the wording of the final document to suit his demands.

        This is strong, independent Canadian foreign policy at it’s best.

  3. I believe the “1967 borders plus land swaps” has been the strategy at the basis of all previous attempts for peace. As recently as last November Clinton and Netanyhu were able to issue a joint statement that included the words: 
     The Secretary reiterated that “the United States believes that through good-faith negotiations, the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state, based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.” Those requirements will be fully taken into account in any future peace agreement.

    • I recently watched Charlie Rose interview George Mitchell, who is the recently resigned U.S. envoy to the Middle East. Mithcell basically admitted that the Obama administration made two major communications mistakes on the file. One was making it appear as though a ban on settlements was a precondition to negotiations. The other was making it appear as though the pre-1967 borders was a brand new policy.

      I think it should be noted that not everyone believes that the latter is a restatement of previous American policy. For one thing, I have yet to see any previous presidents quoted saying the same thing.

      Let’s face it. The pre-1967 borders are history. So is the right of return for the grandchildren of  exiled Palestinian refugees. But nobody seems to want to talk about the last obvious fact. I wonder why. It’s only Israel that’s supposed to make all the concessions for very little in return.

      • It’s long been understood by the Palestinian negotiators that there’s not going to be anything more than a nominal right of return to Israel proper. It’s a non-issue.

        • Why is it that only the Israelis are supposed to make concessions in public? Only they are supposed to be the focus of criticism in public? On the other hand, the Palestinians never have to make any public declarations of their own. They can’t even recognize the right of Israel to exist, but we’re supposed to take their efforts at “peace” seriously?

  4. Yet another reason the G8 is outdated and should be disbanded

    • I don’t get what the one has to do with the other. The G8 should be disbanded because you don’t like Harper?

      • The G8 should be disbanded because it’s long since lost it’s credibility and authority, and nobody listens to it anymore.

        Harp is just the poster boy for ‘Relics, Inc’

        • Yet it’s been on the news all day and here we are talking about it. Interesting.

          • Lots of things are on the news everyday….doesn’t make them important.

        • “…nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.”

          • Heh…amazing though isn’t it, that even the smallest change in the world is cause for alarm for some?

  5. I think Harper is playing domestic politics with this issue (same with every foreign policy issue). Even if the population at large is more sympathetic to the Palestinian line, the only people for whom this is a vote-deciding issue are staunch Israel supporters, and as a bonus these people are otherwise natural Liberal voters. This stance probably swung a few ridings around Toronto for the Conservatives, and makes them competitive in West Montreal. If the Conservatives push this too far and it starts to cost them needed Moslem/Arab votes I’m sure they’ll back off.

    • Or maybe he’s just doing the right thing.

      As he put it himself after the conference, all he wanted was balance in the statement. Yet, somehow, it’s only Israel that’s always in the cross-hairs in these public statements. Why is that?

      • The sanctity of the ’67 border and the illegitimacy of the settlements has been universally upheld by the international community: not only is Harper breaking here with every other country in the world – including the US – but with the clear letter of the law (re: the duties of an occupying power under the geneva conventions).

        I agree there’s a case to be made for ‘balance’ when it comes to grandstanding about zionism=racism and the day-to-day treatment of the Palestinians and the like, but when it comes to the settlements the ONLY rational is Israeli manifest destiny.

        It strikes me as EXTREMELY odd that Canada would be supporting another countries manifest destiny, in clear contradiction of international law and all previous opinion of Canadian governments… that is if the government didn’t stand to gain electorally by appealing to the small but very dedicated population of expansionist zionist Jews and apocalyptic Christians. To the other ~98% of the population the wrongness of the settlements, and the fact that they preclude peace in the Levant, is utterly obvious… but then these people don’t have a personal axe to grind and (very rightly) have hundreds of other issues they care more about when voting.

        In short this is special interest politics at its baldest. I’m not sure why but the Canadian system of government seems especially susceptible to special interests in foreign policy (probably because it matters so little to most people), but surprisingly immune when it comes to impactful domestic policy (as compared to other e.g. G8 countries).

        • The “sanctity” of the pre-1967 borders? Who are you trying to kid? They are history. Security and demographics guarantee it. They only serve as a point of negotiation, which Obama bungled with his speech last week.

          Israel is a very small country with an expanding population. So, yes, it has “settlements”, which it has abandoned in the past in exchange for peace.

          Palestinians can’t even make basic gestures towards peace. Israel, on the other hand, had made all kinds of concessions, has made peace with hostile neighbours in the past, and is one of the greatest lights of freedom and democracy in a sea of darkness and tyranny.

          Yet everybody wants to pick on her, while genuine evil countries in the region and around the world get a free pass. Why is that?

  6. Likud is just making loud complaining noises because Obama is making loud noises realizing the long-standing 1967 sub-text. That’s all. It is counter-noise.

    Obama is not putting the Likudists over a barrel, he’s putting 1967+swaps on the table for consideration. He is putting Palestians over the barrel by insisting they come to the table before any consideration of their core demands is possible. Whereas Israel is brought to the same table to consider the same old, same old dickering.

    Likud can leave the table and take their marbles home, in exactly the same fashion they’ve done over these decades, without consequences. Israel’s finances, defense and security are underwritten by the U.S. and always will be. No change, more of the same. Likud probably won’t come to any 1967 discussion, but it wouldn’t matter if they did or didn’t.

    So it doesn’t really matter what Harper says, except it appeals to his religious aesthetic to back Likud. Different tastes.

  7. looks like the permanent welfare camps of gaza and others in other arab countries , which is an elaborate form of jew baiting has been checked by the MORAL prime minister of canada, the eminently human , Stephen Harper