The Israeli ministry referred to their press release as a "joint statement" but there was no similar press coverage in Canada nor any mention of it on the Canadian government website.
When reached for comment by the Globe and Mail on Nov 14, Stockwell Day's communications director Melisa Leclerc initially went into denial overdrive : "This is inaccurate. There is no joint statement. The minister didn't sign anything," and stated that the talks were "at early, early, stages."
A few hours later however, "she retracted the allegation of inaccuracy against the Israelis, saying that it was actually aimed at a report in The Jerusalem Post", before flakking on about how Day and Dichter merely "enjoyed a productive discussion on issues of mutual interest".
And yet what is described by Ms Leclerc as "early, early stages" in the talks is reported on Israel's Ministry of Public Security website as being pretty far along : "methods to improve the implementation of the bilateral cooperation between the two Ministries" :
"The parties have agreed to intensify future cooperation by identifying ways of direct communication in order to maximize the exchange of information, technology and operational activity. For the same reason it has been agreed to accelerate negotiations for the signing of an Arrangement Paper between the two Ministries on cooperation in home land security and counter terrorism issues."
I feel safer already.
So why all the secrecy, Ms Leclerc? Aside from your undoubted concerns about how this news will go down with the voting Canadian Arab and Palestinian public - not to mention the rest of us.
Well, you know how the Cons hate to be continually accused of being Bush poodles ...
Israel and U.S. Sign Homeland Security Pact
Rebecca Anna Stoil, Jerusalem Post, Feb 8, 2007 (Italics mine)
"Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter and his US counterpart, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, signed a joint memorandum in Washington DC on Wednesday evening, setting a series of goals and terms for security collaboration between the two nations.
The joint understanding included partnership on flight security, including passenger and cargo inspection and information sharing on the topic of emergency planning, response, recovery and damage control.
Dichter, who is on a four-day diplomatic visit to North America, was recently officially appointed as Israel's diplomatic counterpart to Chertoff. The former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head is widely recognized in Washington as an expert in counter-terrorism, particularly following a nine-month stint as a fellow at the D.C. Brookings Institute think tank.
"Iran is the largest terrorist state in the world," Dichter said late Tuesday night to members of the public security committee of the Canadian parliament. Moving from discussing geopolitics to talking shop with the Canadian lawmakers, Dichter laid out what he believes to be the guidelines for Canadian-Israeli security cooperation in the future, possibly similar to the agreement that the minister signed a day later in Washington DC."
This would be hilariously funny, except for the fact that it isn't.
Brilliant sleuthing by ReWind.It at Bread n Roses