Stephen Harper has pledged unwavering support for Israel. That pledge sounds hollow coming from a man who has a long history of abandoning friends and allies when they become inconvenient. Consider a few names: Preston Manning, Garth Turner, Tom Flanagan, Mike Duffy, Nigel Wright. And now, Lawrence Martin writes, you can add Barack Obama to that list:
The Conservatives no longer seem very concerned about irritating the Obama administration. They were always hesitant to take on the Democratic messiah because of his great popularity in Canada, but things have changed.
Conservatives sense that the President is wounded and take a measure of pleasure in it. Mr. Obama’s health reform rollout was a disaster. Security leaks about surveillance of Americans have embarrassed his administration. Now a critical book by Mr. Obama’s former defence secretary, Robert Gates, is attracting lots of attention.
It's hard to believe that Harper's trip to Israel is striking fear in Obama. But the noises he is making there must raise the president's blood pressure. He is not helping Obama deal with Iran. Domestically, he wants an answer on Keystone. However, he has done nothing environmentally to help the president sell the deal.
The truth is that Stephen Harper loves to lecture the world. But he doesn't know how to deal with it. And an even more important truth is that he always acts -- first and foremost -- in Stephen Harper's interest. That, after all, is why he is in Israel. The trip is about Canadian Jewish votes, not international peace.
That's something Bibi Netanyahu would be wise to think about. If he becomes inconvenient, Mr. Harper will turn on a dime.