Monday, January 20, 2014

The Steve and Bibi Show

There's the Canadian coverage :
SunNews: Stephen Harper gets 'rock star' welcome in Israel
The Star: Stephen Harper gets a hero's welcome in Israel
CBC: Harper welcomed as 'great friend" of Israel
although NaPo went with  : 
Harper’s bromance with Netanyahu designed to shift focus from PM’s domestic troubles

It’s fair to say that Mr. Harper’s arrival was less momentous news for the average Israeli. There were no local journalists at Ben Gurion airport to greet the prime minister.
When we arrived at Mr. Netanyahu’s office compound for the official welcome ceremony, the more visible flags were those of Romania, whose president is also in town on an official visit.

And then there's the Israeli coverage :

Haaretz: Canada's Foreign Ministry on eve of Harper visit: Settlements are illegal, obstacle to peace
Despite belief that Canadian PM fully supports Israeli policy, updated policy paper shows Ottawa doesn't back nearly any of Israel's demands; Harper dodges question on Israeli settlements during Ramallah visit.
Netanyahu considers Harper his best, perhaps only, friend among today's world leaders, and a wholehearted supporter of his government's policy.
[I]n describing Harper, Netanyahu stressed that the Canadian prime minister "expresses a clear and courageous moral position with regard to the truth and to the necessary criteria in the international community toward Israel and the conflict here."
But despite Netanyahu's warm words, the latest document posted on the Canadian Foreign Ministry's website ... shows that the Canadian government is not backing nearly any of Israel's demands in the negotiations with the Palestinians. In fact, Canada's policy is practically identical to the official policy of many of the EU countries.

Further excerpted from Haaretz :
Canada does not recognize permanent Israeli control over territories conquered in 1967 and says the settlements constitute a violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
Canada does not recognize Israel's unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem. 
Canadian policy statement also does not express support for Netanyahu's demand for recognition of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people. 
The policy statement does not endorse Netanyahu's position that not a single Palestinian refugee will return to Israel. 
Here's the DFAIT page referenced by Haaretz, dated Jan 13, 2014. 

ForeignAffairsMin John Baird is on that trip.
Will be interesting to see if the website receives an unexpected update or if, as several commenters under various other Haaretz articles have noted, Steve is a useful idiot for Bibi and this is really only about placating Steve's evangelical supporters while courting more Jewish supporters in Canada for the next election.

Yesterday morning David Akin of SunNews released the names of the 208 shnorrers along on Steve's plane to Israel. Many rabbis, and some CEOs of course, plus seven members of the Jewish National Fund - founders of Canada Park built on top of 3 Palestinian villages - who gifted Steve that bird sanctuary info centre in his name at their annual Negev fundraiser dinner in Toronto last month where Steve announced this visit to Israel .

Stephen LautensBigCityLib and Dr. Dawg have a look at that list.

h/t Haaretz article : Canadian Cynic
Update : SunNews posted vid of Harper's address to the Knesset and did a little editorializing  of their own on the end :
"He laid out his clear rationale for why Canada has unwavering support for Israel, going as far as suggesting that criticism of the State of Israel amounts to anti-Semitism."
I think he stopped just shy of that, but only just. 
Following remarks about the 'old anti-Semiticism having been translated into more sophisticated language for use in polite society', he added a few spoken words to the written transcript of the speech here which I have hi-lited in red 
"Most disgracefully of all, some openly call Israel an apartheid state.
Think about that.
Think about the twisted logic and outright malice behind that: a state, based on freedom, democracy and the rule of law, that was founded so Jews can flourish, as Jews, and seek shelter from the shadow of the worst racist experiment in history, that is condemned, and that condemnation is masked in the language of anti-racism.
It is nothing short of sickening.
But this is the face of the new anti-Semitism.
It targets the Jewish people by targeting Israel and attempts to make the old bigotry acceptable for a new generation.
Of course, criticism of Israeli government policy is not in and of itself necessarily anti-semitic.
But what else can we call criticism that selectively condemns only the Jewish state and effectively denies its right to exist, to defend itself while systematically ignoring – or excusing – the violence and oppression all around it?"
So there are two versions of his speech out there outlining his version of what constitutes the new anti-Semitism- the written one, and then the spoken one which adds on that pivotal loaded phrase "its right to exist".

Update 2 : While the SunNews and CBC transcripts edit out "its right to exist", the PM's official site includes it.

Haaretz : Harper proves a good friend of Netanyahu, but not necessarily of Israel
In an historic Knesset address, Canada's PM missed out on a few truths, while earning first class berths on the Titanic that is the Israeli government.


Anonymous said...

So Nelson Mandela was an anti-semite too then? Is that what Harper is going for here?

Anonymous said...

I believe Harper took a plane load of people, to assist those countries to form their Union. We already have the European Union. Our Union will be the NAU. Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. There is a meeting of the 3 Amigo's, coming up very shortly. We also have American Police operating in our country.

Big business pushes the NAU.
May 18/2011

Obama and Harper announce their NAU border deal
July 20/2013

Harper's ultimate goal is, the New World Order. Harper desperately wants to be a big shot on the international scene. Harper is the front man for the NWO. Harper had also attended a Bilderberg meeting in 2003. Believe you me, Harper is evil enough to force this on us.

Stephen Harper is the front man, for the New World Order.
Dec 18/2010

July 18/2013

Those of us who saw this coming, were ignored. It is a wait and see. Harper kicked our Veterans in their faces. Harper is giving our resources and resource jobs to foreigners. Canadians are being laid off their jobs and Harper's cheap foreign labor are being given those jobs.

I am fully confident. Harper is more than capable of this evil.

Beijing York said...

I wish those two Palestinian-Israeli members of the Knessnet had thrown their shoes at bloated Harper before walking out on his speech. I'm betting the faux economist would have been far less nimble than the faux cowboy Bush.

Anonymous said...

"If, and as long as between the Jordan and the sea, there is only one political entity named Israel, it will end up being either non-Jewish or non-democratic... If the Palestinians vote in elections, it is a binational state, and if they don't, it is an apartheid state."

- Former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak, 2010

Alison said...

Anon@8:16 I had to look that one up.
Former PM Barak was Defence Minister of Israel at the time he said it and was speaking at the Herzliya Conference - as you correctly note, in 2010. There are many similar references to apartheid from Israeli politicians in government just four years ago.
Four years later, Harper calls it anti-Semitism when the word is used in Canada.

BY : ;-)

Boris said...

Years ago I was arguing online with wingnutters who wanted to bombbombbomb Iran because Ahmedinijad. I explained that Iran does have elections and that if they waited a cycle or two, he'd be gone and they might have someone who talked a lot less crazy. Voila. One day, Israel will have a different government, and then what will Harper do? Call it anti-Semitic?

Alison said...

Boris : Move over Spartacus - we are all anti-Semites now.

e.a.f. said...

took 200 of his nearest and dearest for a little trip to Israel on the Canadian taxpayers dime and then gave a speech which insulted some members of the Kineset and they walked out. Netanyahu's views of how things should work are not shared by all Israeli's, be they Jewish or Muslim.

In a free and democratic country people have the right to express their opinions. Many Jews do not agree with many of Netanyahu's policies. he does not have a majority government. It is a government cobbled together with many different political parties.

Alison said...

e.a.f.: While Harper was in Israel giving a speech calling the BDS movement anti-Semitism:

Boycott goes prime-time in Israel

"Israel's number-one news show runs a lengthy piece on the growing movement – and blames it not on anti-Semitism or Israel-bashing, but on settlements.
Sixteen minutes of prime time on Israel’s all-popular TV news show on Saturday night, the end of the week in this country. Bracing stuff. A wrench thrown into the national denial machine – and by Channel 2. Definitely a sign of progress – and of life. Another reminder of why this country is worth fighting for – which, for many of us Israeli boycott-supporters, if not necessarily most of us, is what the boycott, strange as it may sound, is all about."

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