Monday, January 20, 2014

Fundamentally Wrong

Stephen Harper, we are told, has received a rock star welcome in Israel. Leaving aside for the moment the diversion it creates from scandal at home, one should be very uncomfortable about what Harper is stirring up in the Middle East. Jeffrey Simpson writes that, while successive Canadian governments have always supported Israel,

none, however, has gone as far in embracing Israel as Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government – to the point of distancing Canada from traditional allies in the United States and Europe, abandoning even the pretense of balance and nuance, and contributing to Canada’s defeat (for the first time) in seeking a seat on the UN Security Council (a seat won the next time by Australia, whose governments had also been strong supporters of Israel but not as abrasively as the Harper government).

The reason for the shift has everything to do with the man himself. Harper does not base his policy on experience or knowledge:

His deep commitment does not spring from personal experience or considerable reading about the Middle East and its history – indeed, while he was leader of the opposition, foreign diplomats in Ottawa who managed to secure a meeting (often difficult) with him were struck by how little interested he was in any international issues.

Mr. Harper sees the world, like Canadian domestic affairs, in rather Manichean terms, wherein the forces of good and evil are arrayed against each other, with threatening enemies everywhere, prepared to pounce on any weakness. The forces of good are democracies, especially of the Anglo-Saxon variety and a few others, including Israel. The forces of darkness and instability are other kinds of political systems.

For Harper, it's a battle between good and evil. And he, of course, is on the side of good. He is in all things a fundamentalist -- in economics, politics and religion. And, as is so often the case, he is fundamentally wrong.

Incidentally, John Gray and I are not related. But we share the same name and -- in this case -- the same opinion.


bcwaterboy said...

This trip to Isreal, like all things extravagant, so we're told by the likes of Jim Flaherty, ought to have not seen the light of day in these times. But as you say Owen, it's more about ideology than necessity and as we know, that trumps evidence in harper's world. Not surprised to see the like of smarmy Stockwell Day on the list, too bad he wouldn't buy some property and stay there (I often run into the lad in these parts).

Owen Gray said...

I thought that Stock had disappeared into quiet retirement, waterboy. The fact that he is one of Harper's invited guests tells you what this trip is all about.

When you run into him, you have my sympathy.

Alison said...

Stockwell Day is on the board of directors of The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

I thought this article in Haaretz today was interesting :

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"

Briefly, despite all the hoopla, a January 2014 DFAIT policy paper on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict shows Canadian position same as that of EU.

Whole article is interesting. You can write this sort of thing in the largest paper in Israel yet it does not appear in Canadian coverage.

Owen Gray said...

I noticed this morning, Alison, that Harper dodged questions on the settlements. It sounded like his usual performance during Question Period.

Thanks for the link.

Lorne said...

Simpson's point about Harper seeing democracies as the forces of good needs some qualification, Owen. Harper sees our democracy as good domestically only if it is not in any way questioned or criticized by parliamentarians, scientists, environmentalists or any other citizens who do not embrace his agenda.

Owen Gray said...

Harper's support for democracy is like his support for accountability, Lorne -- so much hot air.

One has to wonder what's keeping him down.

Anonymous said...

I firmly believe, Harper cheated to win his election with his robo-call scam. Then there was Wenzel, Parker and Front Porch Strategies. Wenzel and Parker directly participated in 14 Conservative campaigns, even went door knocking. The Front Porch were accused of robo-calls that came out of the U.S. Elections Canada said, they have no jurisdiction in the US. However, Canada has American Police operating in our country.

There is also the meeting of, the 3 Amigo's coming up. Has everyone read of? Harper gives a speech in New York at, the Council of Foreign Relations. This was Sept 25/2007.

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

North American Union. Big business pushing for the NAU.
May 18/2011

However, Harper's ultimate goal is the New World Order. Have people read Harper's speech on global governance for Canada? Harper also attended the Bilderberg meeting in 2003.

July 18/2013

If this is indeed the truth? We were warned if, Harper gets a majority? We can all kiss Canada good-bye. The only true words Harper ever uttered? By the time I get through with this country, you won't recognize it. Harper is indeed a true monster.

Owen Gray said...

Indeed, we were warned, Anon. And we didn't take him seriously.

Anonymous said...

Money begets money!

Harper's unbalanced support of Bibi's Israel is only to curry favour with wealthy and influential members of the Canadian Jewish Community. They are being scammed whether they know it or not, since Harper's primary objective is to fatten the Harper Cons Political Coffers and retain power. He does not care one iota about ordinary Jewish folks.

Owen Gray said...

I think it's fair to say, Anon, that Harper doesn't care about Canadians in general.

What he does care about is power.