Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Canada's PM Harper is Better than Most, But...

Photo credit: Dudi Vaaknin
The State of Israel is acting like the least popular girl in school who is finally asked out.  The fuss being made oveCanadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit is really getting on my nerves.  Even my favorite writer, pundit friend Ruthie Blum has joined the bandwagon and ignored the details.

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
Granted, that Harper has been consistently saying nice and sensible things about Israel, but he was also very generous to the PA bringing them lots more than flowers and chocolate.
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.
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.
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."

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.”
Read more: Harper admits Canada concerned about settlements | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/harper-admits-canada-concerned-about-settlements/#ixzz2r3wfwwgX Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook

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...


Anonymous said...

Even the best of the lot speak of and believe in the 'palestinians' having a state, a place, in the Jewish homeland. So how good can they be?

Anonymous said...

Batya, you are too negative.

Always, looking for the worst.

My Prime Minister stands for you, and you only look for how to find some black spot to air on your site.

Anonymous said...

Everything I had heard about PM Harper gave me the impression of being a true friend of Israel. After hearing about giving money to the PA and the "concern" for settlements, my opinion of him is greatly reduced. He just wants to play "nice" in the arena. With everything the PA and Abbas has said should anyone in their right mind even WANT a "peace process". I haven't heard not a single leader give any ultimatums or condemnation of Abbas and everything he's said and done. It's about time the nations start telling the PA you don't deserve a state. Not until you can "join the civilized world".


Shy Guy said...

Definitely too negative.

As for Sharbano's opinion, what do you expect from world leaders when our own PM calls for a 2 state solution and constantly allows the funneling of food, fuel, electricity, water and what not to those who seek to annihilate us?!

Harper is at a minimum a Tzadik in S'dom!

Anonymous said...

All the gushing and you're my bestest, bestest friend by Harper is a distraction to keep the public from looking into the details like Batya has. Canadian conservatives aren't much better than British conservatives. As long as millions are going to the enemy it doesn't matter. What matters is what they do or say when we have to defend ourselves or make decisions that are painful for the Palestinians. That's when we know who our friends are and so far I can't name any.

Anonymous said...

Among you Jewish people are you all friends with one another.
I have seen many put many down.

Someone is being kind, he is not Jewish, see the good, stop your nit-picking.
Go if you are so bold and protest altogether. Instead of sitting in front of your computer and typing negative things about someone who is trying to do something good in the world.
What a shame.
Do not put of lights, shine lights.
s. croning.

Anonymous said...

By now, there should not be even one 'democratic' country in the world standing behind and supporting our mortal enemy who lives within the borders of the Land of Israel. Just as they know there is a Heaven above and the earth below, they KNOW very well there is no such people as this pseudo nation and their only goal is to annilhiate the Jewish people and cleanse the land of all Jews, but the democratic world is keeping its fingers crossed hoping for this non-entity to do the job for them. So even the slightest acceptance of a state for a non-people who are occupying the Land of the Jews is a great fraud and a dangerous farce. We just need to go to the Nach and recall what our holy Neviim prophecied and actually see it is all coming to pass. Also,we should not be surprised by all this after thousands of years of hatred by the nations, but what should really irk us are the so-called Jews who side with them. This will be their unforgiveable sin. No more sitting on the fence; either the Jew is with H' or against Him.

Tzivia in AliyahLand said...

Okay, yeah, the love-fest got a little nauseating after the first three minutes. But really, I think you're not seeing the context here.
When Harper says "Canada" supports Israel, I believe he's being a little disingenuous. HE supports Israel, it's a big part of his PERSONAL agenda (perhaps informed by his evangelical Christian beliefs). But the majority of Canadians think he's nuts.
He stands to gain NOTHING at home for supporting Israel. The percentage of Jews in Canada is minuscule. Speaking out for Israel has only ever harmed him politically, and it will ever be thus in a country which sees itself aligned, philosophically, more closely with Europe than with the United States.
We'll do anything to NOT be Americans, even when it comes to dissing on of the U.S.'s most valuable allies (Israel).
Harper is the exception.
There is a general perception that he's been a far better PM for Israel than he has been for Canada and most Canadians wish he would shut up on the topic already.
I believe he will NEVER shut up, not until his dying day.
True, he speaks of a two-state solution. But to me, he's one of the only world leaders who recognizes how crazy and dangerous the Muslim world is right now.
He said himself that he was most struck by the shortness of distances here - like the short time it took him to get to Ramallah, which drove home the immediacy of the threat Israel lives with every day.
As for his "settlements" statements (or lack thereof) - it remains true, and not because of Harper, that Canada is officially opposed to all Jewish presence in these areas.
When asked, he deflected the question, saying that Canada's view is a matter of public record. There's nothing else he CAN say, as a prime minister at odds with his people's beliefs.
To me, it felt very poignant, that he was there both as a representative of Canada, and as a principled individual. The conflicts were clear in his every word.

Anonymous said...

To is, you said it so nicely. That's exactly how it is.
That's how I too feel. I am Noahide, but I love Hashem and his Chosen.
Stephen, is like they say, in a place where he has to watch what he says. It's very obvious though he loves the Jews.
I do too. Despite but what some Jews would say.
But then, not all Jews think alike too.
Better to just concentrate on Torah and Hashem.

Anonymous said...

I meant Tzvia, it's hard for a 73 Year old on. iPad.
Sorry Tzvia.


Batya said...

I appreciate the comments.
I expected that there would be many who disagree with me and I'm gratified that so many are checking the "fine print" like I am.

Anonymous said...

Can't something be done so that the love-fest for all the "admirers" of our country don't tie up traffic, especially in Jerusalem, for long periods of time?

Eitan said...