Until recent decades, it has always been the case that the United States was Israel's greatest ally in the world: indeed, probably her only ally. From the day that Harry Truman recognized Israel as a nation in 1948, to Richard Nixon's stand against the Soviet Union during the Yom Kippur War of 1973, America has always been there for Israel, both in terms of supplying material assistance, and defending Israel from her enemies at the United Nations. But that's changed, probably starting with Jimmy Carter's administration; although Reagan supported Israel, he was primarily concerned with waging war against Communism on other fronts. Recent Presidents, such as the Bushes, Clinton, and Obama, have all attempted to push the "road map for peace" toward a "two-state solution," trying to placate and satisfy both the Israelis and those calling for a "Palestinian state." Obama, for example, talks a good game when he's addressing Jewish groups, but he is essentially and fundamentally anti-Israel, and pro-Palestinian.
Not so Stephen Harper, the current Prime Minister of Canada. Although Harper is no more flawless or infallible than any other politician, he has vociferously and consistently supported Israel throughout his political life - - - far more than any recent American President, although of course Canada can't provide the same levels of aid as America. Here he addresses his bilingual constituency during the 2011 Canadian federal election:
Barack Obama would gargle with battery acid before he'd make a statement like that. But Harper's zeal for Israel's welfare wasn't just an election gambit. In recent days, he has been even more outspoken on the issue. From The Wall Street Journal of May 16, 2013:
"Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper criticized what he characterized as weakening support for Israel among western nations at an event in the U.S. on Thursday.
"'There is nothing more short sighted in Western capitals in our time
than the softening support for Israel,' he said at an event at the
Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Israel, he said, 'is the one
strong stable democratic western ally that we have in' the Middle East.
"Mr. Harper didn't specify any countries or give examples of what he termed softening. Critics of U.S. President Barack Obama
have at times accused the administration of not backing Israel
forcefully enough. The White House has said repeatedly that its
commitment to Israel hasn't diminished. Some European nations have been
increasingly critical of Israel, in particular over the building of new
settlements in the West Bank.
"A White House representative didn't immediately return requests for
comment. In a visit to Israel last month, Mr. Obama told Israelis in a
speech that he is the 'president of a country that you can count on as
your greatest friend.'"*
Yes, that's how Obama talks when he's addressing the Israelis directly: just as when he addresses his own countrymen, he lies. (And, as we've seen in a previous post, the President seems somewhat confused as to who America's "greatest friend" is.) But Harper wasn't addressing a Jewish group: he was talking to the Council on Foreign Relations. Canada is fortunate to have a leader who speaks the same truth to every audience, and who stands for Israel when so many would destroy her.
*by Alistair Macdonald. Copyright ©2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.