Canada: Israel’s Greatest Friend in the World

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Harper said he supports Obama’s speech on the Mideast, but that “You can’t cherry pick elements of that speech.” Harper has come under some partisan criticism for the move. “We are not talking about being at odds with Sweden, we are being at odds with our fundamental allies, like the British or the French,” Mike Molloy, former Canadian Mideast diplomat, told Canada’s Embassy magazine.

But David Cooper, director of government relations for the Canada-Israel Committee, the country’s organized Jewish community’s liaison to the Canadian government, said the criticism rings hollow. When George W. Bush was in office, Cooper said, the Canadian leadership would field complaints that it was in lock step with the American government. Yet now, an Obama presidency has inspired a concern for the need to be neighborly.

“There’s a lot of hypocrisy,” Cooper said. “And I think a lot of it is because it revolves around the issue of Israel, which is always something that causes people to have very sharp opinions.”

Cooper said that foreign policy issues rarely dominate an election, so the prime minister’s support is not poll-driven. Nonetheless, the Jewish community—though barely 1 percent of the population—did participate in the Conservative party’s decisive general election victory last month, in which the Conservatives increased their seats in parliament to 166, giving the party a majority.

“The Jewish community has gone over significantly,” Cooper aid. “One poll that I saw said that 52 percent of Jews voted conservative, 24 percent voted for the liberal party, 16 percent for the NDP (New Democrat Party).”

And Cooper also noted that Harper’s opinion on the G-8 statement could not have been too controversial among the other nations if it prevailed and informed the language of the joint statement.

“I think at any of these international summits, it doesn’t matter what the country is, or what the issue is, there are always countries that have a particular point of view,” Cooper said. “And they express it, and sometimes it shapes—and sometimes it doesn’t shape—the final communiqué. And I think in this case the prime minister was persuasive in his argument.”

But to Canada’s Jewish community, as well as the pro-Israel movement worldwide, none of this comes as much of a surprise. Two years ago, Canada was the first to announce it would boycott the second Durban conference, the first of which in 2001 quickly devolved into an anti-Israel hate fest, and the second was shaping up to be similar. Canada also led the opposition to the appointment of Richard Falk, a 9/11 conspiracy theorist who compares Israeli Jews to Nazis, as the U.N.’s special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories.

Cooper also noted the Canadian government’s strong opposition to the Iranian nuclear program. “Iran continues to be a big issue and the government has gone quite far in terms of initiating sanctions, and is very conscious of the issue,” he said.

Conscious of that issue and more, Harper is getting noticed as the go-to advocate for Israel on the international stage.

Seth Mandel is a writer specializing in Middle Eastern politics and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Horowitz Freedom Center.

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  • JenS

    Harper is also getting noticed as the only remaining leader of the Free World (outside of Israel).

  • Shlomo R.

    Stephen Harper is the only man and I said man to speak the truth. When there are no men be a man. Obama is so brandwashed at this point I don't even think he trusts himself. I think he is a lawbreaker who wants to hurt the United States. For him it is about the oppressed. Funny to say the Jews have been oppressed for 2,000 years. So this is a bit of a revision and phony.

  • Chezwick_mac

    Our Canadian friends should know that MANY Americans are absolutely envious at the quality of leadership that Steven Harper represents.

    • bombshelterbob

      I second your statement Chezwick, I hope that Canada stands firm in it's support of Israel.

    • puc

      I have always appreciated your insightful commentary. I am sure you are aware that we have waited many years in Canada for the kind of statesmanlike leadership that we see in Stephen Harper. The USA still represents all our best hopes for stability and decency in the world and when sufficient numbers of Americans realize just how incompetent,platitudinous and untrustworthy Obama is, despite his outwardly smooth manner , we can perhaps look forward to another great president .

      • Chezwick_mac

        Thanks Puc, for the kind words.

        We're all hoping and praying that Obama's a one-term president. The fate of the country hangs in the balance.

    • marat 1

      Here in Canada, it was wonderful to see Harper achieve a majority Conservative government. He acceptable the results with humility and a spirit of service, NOT arrogance. Harper has done a superlative job of guiding Canada through the recession that was far, far more devastating than in the U.S. He has simultaneously protected Canadian interests and has been not been afraid to be outspoken concerning the deficient standards of human rights under many governments/regimes in the world–EVEN when some of these regimes have been Canada's largest trading partner. The contrast between Harper and Obama is literally the story of two individuals who are Light Years removed from each other–the latter, a serial prevaricator who is perhaps the FIRST individual to sit in the White House who has a palpable dislike of his own nation and her former allies apparently. And then Harper, whose compassion is tempered by reason and the pragmatics of governing. I shudder to think of the U.S. having another 4 years of the atrocious reign of Obama, of his charade of "looking presidential" and having not a clue as to the realities of the day. He has strengthened America's enemies within a mere 2+ years, while having destroyed a slew of previous U.S. allies. In the process, he has sent a strong signal that it does not pay to maintain an alliance with the U.S. since in Obama's world there is no constancy of relationship–EVERYONE is expendable…..

      • Chezwick_mac

        Nice input…with one caveat: Canada's recession was NOT "far, far more devastating than in the US." Canada's banks and financial institutions were far less exposed than their US counterparts…and they rode out the recession in much better shape.

  • Raymond in DC

    What is one to think when Obama, despite broad opposition to his May 19 speech, elects not just to "double down" at the AIPAC Conference, but to stick with that "1967 with swaps" formula at the G8? Quite simply, that the man is an ideologue, that he believes only he has the "true wisdom" and he's sticking with it no matter what. JPost columnist Sarah Honig's discussion of "wooden-headedness" comes to mind. Those of a more psychiatric bent might see in this yet more evidence of his narcissism.

    • WilliamJamesWard

      As Psychiatrist to the world I would diagnose Obama as a 'Nut Case"

  • Randy

    I do wear our government's policy regarding Israel as a badge of honor.

    • Iron Yank

      Do you agree with Helen Thomas then too, Ship them back to Aushwitz?
      were on to you Randy…..

    • Debbie

      Am I to assume you are Canadian and you agree wholeheartedly with the Prime Minister?

  • Fred Dawes

    Obama the new evil force in the world the guy who wants to do mass holocaust not only on the jews but on all its free people.

  • Ray in Seattle

    Thank you Harper (and Canada) for being the lone voice standing up for the values of the West in the face of a world that would rather play politics for that last drop of cheap oil than accept reality.

  • CharlieB

    Yes, Yes, The United State has developed quite a tradition of bailing in allies. I am afraid most of the world realized it before the American people did.

  • Ghostwriter

    It seems Barack Obama will be mentioned in the same breath as Neville Chamberlain. They were both foolish men who didn't see the evil and depravity of those they were dealing until it was too late. President Obama seems to see the world through the prism of the one of those old Coca-Cola commercials from the 1970's. He really seems to believe that if we sit down with even the most depraved people on earth,he can get them to see the error of their ways and then everything will be alright.
    Sadly,he may soon find out that his treatment of our true allies like Israel,Poland,and Great Britain was shortsighted and foolish. Unfortunately,the world may have to pay a terrible price before President Obama realizes his mistakes and that he will go down as one of history's most gullible leaders,just like Neville Chamberlain.

    • Kristina

      Ghostwriter, I think you give Obama more credit than he deserves. He is not naive, he is a stage 4 malignancy spreading through the country. He knows exactly what he is doing. If there is any naivete on his part it is because he believes he is following the Cloward / Piven strategy of dismantling America and causing it to collapse with the eventual outcome of Marxist Socialism to step in and save the day. We will be blindsided by an even greater force and horror that rises in power and assumes control. That horror is Islam and we are coddling the jihadists and dismantling our Constitution daily. If large enough numbers do not revolt, I suggest you buy a Koran. You will need it.

    • Debbie

      Unfortunately, there are far too many people who either don't know, don't want to know or don't connect with today that period in history, that feeling that Chamberlain apparently had that an evil despot like Hitler, bent on conquering the world, might actually prefer piece, er, I mean peace.

    • marat 1

      Actually, I am convinced that Obama DOES see evil… and that his manipulation has been very, very conscious in terms of attempting to weaken Israel's security given any opportunity–even with the kind of despicable public thrashing he pulled along with Hilary Clinton last year regarding Israeli "settlements" and his demand that Israel forbid its very own Jewish citizens from building in East Jerusalem! Talk about Racism (he loves to pull the race card whenever possilbe)–this was the equivalent of Harper "demanding" that Catholics in Washington, D.C. be forbidden from building. Jordan took E. Jerusalem militarily in 1948 and kicked out EVERY Jew and destroyed their houses of worship. Fast forward to 1967 and Israel's victory in the Six Day War. Israel regained ALL of their capital of Jerusalem and kicked no one out. The demonstrated their Democratic vision, a huge vision and opened up the ENTIRE city to ANYONE with a valid building permit. Frankly, I am amazed that Obama still lives in the White House and has not been impeached on the grounds of Treason. It was no accident that he has allowed Iran to continue to attempt building a nuclear arsenal–the man IS a Muslim at his core. I merely watch his behavior for my conclusions…

  • Judy

    I am proud to be a Canadian. Good for Mr. Harper!!

    • Democracy First

      And how delighted I am that other Canadian Jews joined me in the Conservative camp this past election. A black sheep no more.

  • BIgSoph

    I am proud to be a Conservative voter. And I am proud of my Prime Minister for standing shoulder to shoulder with Israel.
    No more Czechoslovakias!

  • Amused

    According to a 1995 Law passed by Congress , it shall be at the disgression of any sitting U S President to move the U S Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem , that decision to become presentable every 6 months .So far Clinton, Bush ,and Obama , have chosen not to move the Embassy .. That would equate to atleast 8 refusals by Clinton , 16 refusals by Bush ,and to date , 5 refusals by Obama ..[ note -it was a campasign promise of the Bush Admin. Has anyone held their feet to the fire ? All have supported military and financial aide to Israel . None have curtailed or diminshed that aide or sharing of latest military technology .

    • marat 1

      You are wrong in that about a year ago, Obama and his handlers specifically denied certain high technology to Israel that they were going to sell to Saudi Arabia. In fact, Obama pushed to get the largest military sale in the history of America pushed through–to the Saudis, of all people, the poster child of Totalitarianism. AND, in an effort to curb ANY ISRAELI attack on Iran's nuclear facility, Obama and his handlers gave very equivocal signals as to whether U.S. air force planes MIGHT be called upon to shoot down Israeli planes if Israel decided to proceed with an attack on Iran. THIS is an ALLY?????

  • Amused

    Canada's Embassy is in Tel Aviv . Talking the talk is not walking the walk .

    • BS77

      More sarcastic tripe from Mr. Amused, who is obviously, "above it all"

      • Amused

        Tripe Mr.B.S. ? what I spoke was true . Would it not be a TRUE INDIUCATOR of committement ? Israel's Capitol is JERUSALEM , why are our s and Canda's Embassies in Tel Aviv ? You say "above it all " ? No , on spot is more like it . If there wasn't an Obama to denigraste , no one here would be singing the praises of Canada .While I do most assuredly give my kudos to Canada , the US is supllying monetary , and military aid , and continues to .None of it has been diminished .I know you cant be bothered with the btruth of the matter , but perhaps that's why you call yourself B.S.1977 .

    • Democracy First

      90% better than Obama will do.

      • Amused

        90% of nothing = NOTHING . Both Canada AND the U.S. have their embassies in Tel Aviv .

  • Shay

    I vote for Canada, For the New leader of the Free World! Go Canada!

  • valinens

    As an American citizen, I applaud Mr. Harper for his courageous stand in support of Israel against the rest of the G-8!! It is to our disgrace that our American? president has chosen not to support Israel, but its enemies. Is it not amazing that Americans, Canadians, and Europeans–peoples of the free world,, would dare to stand by, and allow history to be repeated once again against the Jews. Our college campuses are filled with such anti-semitic hatred, that conservative speakers are not even permitted…., and this is in the "free" WEST! Geert Wilders is fighting for the right to speak the truth in his own country, to salvage the identity and the unique heritage of his homeland, the Netherlands. What will be our legacy in the West, if we do not have the courage to speak out against this hatred now– before it is too late? Israel is a tiny country, with no resources, no oil, and NO LAND! why does the whole world hate these people, why does it not have the right to exist? This world is getting out of control and we must stop the hatred! We, as citizens of free nations must purge this hatred of Israel from our nations, and support the Israeli's.

  • dbh

    The anti-Israel movement has been forstered by the PC brigade – in the media and in the schools. It seems that many people would rather be told what to believe than to think for themselves or to even look at history.
    There are, however, glimmers of hope that this is changing.
    During the Canadian election, the Liberal lefty leader ran around to his rallys urging the sheeple to "rise up! rise up!". Alas, his Alinsky revolution never materialized.
    As one commenter put it – they thought he was saying "wise up!" and he not only lost the election but lost the leadership of the party and his seat in parliament.
    After Steven Harper being elected with a majority, that was the best part.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Until our persons are respected at airports my wife and I will not fly, but we will
    drive up to Canada to vacation and applaud our Canadian relatives and
    friends. God Bless Canada…………………………………………………..William

  • Avi

    G-D bless the United Provinces of Canada!!!!

    Americans that do NOT buy in to ObamaFascists

  • diah

    I will bless those that bless you and curse those that curse you. The family and the land of the Harpers will be blessed and it will be a memorial unto the God of Israel!

  • Ken

    Buy Crown Royal and screw buying Scotch !!!

  • Eraina

    God bless P.M. Stephen Harper and the United Provinces of Canada! If things don't change in the next election here in the U.S., I think American Jews may start to relocate northward.

    • Great White North

      It's technically "Kingdom of Canada", or "Dominion of Canada". We aren't "United Provinces".

  • Great White North

    When I heard about the loss of the Security Council seat I flipped. I mean, you know, we fought and died together, in Germany, in Japan, in Korea, in Cyprus, in Serbia, in Kosovo, and in Afghanistan.

    Then your President pulls that sort of crap.