When Stephen Harper visits Israel this weekend, he will likely make a stop at Canada Park, opened by John Diefenbaker in 1975 and completed in 1984.
Twenty-two years ago, CBC's Fifth Estate aired the powerful program above on the origins of Canada Park, built on top of three Palestinian villages bulldozed by the Israeli army and paid for by 15 million dollars in Canadian donations to the Jewish National Fund who continue to maintain upkeep of the park.
Harper announced his intention to visit Israel from the Jewish National Fund's annual Negev fundraiser in Toronto in December, where he performed various songs onstage for the crowd and was honoured with having the Stephen J. Harper Hula Valley Bird Sanctuary Visitor and Education Centre in Israel named after him.
Perhaps one day Canada will have a Bibi Netanyahu Bird Sanctuary in the Alberta tarsands.
In his speech at the Negev Dinner last month, Harper stated :
"... how easy it is to drift away from Israel. We understand that the future of our country and of our shared civilization depends on the survival and thriving of that free and democratic homeland for the Jewish people in the Middle East."An Israeli soldier, who as a young man took reluctant part in driving the 10,000 Palestinians from their homes on the land now occupied by Canada Park, sees our interference differently. Quoted from the CBC show above :
"I think it's a very stupid idea on the part of those Canadian people who helped calling this park Canada Park. It's no business of any Canadian to intervene in a disputed issue. The land of Palestine is disputed between two peoples and let us not call any park Canada or Japan before peace is settled."Jun 19 Update : Of the 208 members of Harper's taxpayer-paid entourage enroute to the Steve 'n Bibi show in Israel, at least seven are from the Jewish National Fund.