|Photo credit: Dudi Vaaknin|
As I've written whenever some visiting head of state comes to call and speaks in the Knesset, remember that they don't write their own speeches. Whether it's a Bush, Obama, Harper or others, their staffs invest a lot of time and money getting the perfect speech crafted for the occasion. Those applause-filled speeches aren't policy. The are written by professionals to get cheers and make their hosts feel loved. They are no more real than James Bond and Spiderman.
|Photo credit: AFP|
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a $66 million aid program for the Palestinian Authority on Monday.Harper made his announcement during a visit to Ramallah, where he met with PA President Mahmoud Abbas.Harper may have said "...those who scorn modernity, who loathe the liberty of others, and who hold the differences of peoples and cultures in contempt. Those who often begin by hating the Jews, but, history shows us, end up hating anyone who is not them. Those forces, which have threatened the State of Israel every single day of its existence, and which, today, as 9/11 graphically showed us, threaten us all." but he also said "Canada is a strong supporter of the peace process. Our position is not an Israeli position or a Palestinian position. It is a Canadian position of principle supported by the overwhelming majority of Canadians."
The Canadian government says the money would “help advance the peace process, promote security and deliver humanitarian assistance.”
Canada has provided more than $650m. in assistance to the Palestinians since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993.
As usual with fine talkers, he would never take his own words seriously or to their logical conclusion.
But honestly, the more I read of Harper's speech the less I find it more pro-Israel than the American speech-writers compose.
“I raised the issue of settlements privately. I am not here to single out Israel for criticism. There are more than enough to do that, they don’t need me. I find it interesting that yesterday in the Palestinian Authority no one asked me to single out the PA for any criticism about governance or human rights, I’m only asked to single out Israel.”
The more I look at the big picture, the less enamoured I am, which does put me in a minority, a small one. I don't mind standing alone on this. No doubt I'll be joined later on by others when the party's over...