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October 26, 2014 / 2 Heshvan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘stephen harper’

Canada Says One Thing And Publishes Another on Israel, Lawyers Say

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Former Israeli ambassador to Canada Alan Baker and prominent Toronto lawyers have condemned an apparent discrepancy between Ottawa’s fervid public support for Israel and official policy.

Baker, who served as Israel’s ambassador to Canada from 2004 to 2008, and six Toronto lawyers, have written to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird demanding the Foreign Affairs Department website be changed “to align it with statements and policies publicly expressed by the Prime Minister, yourself and other government representatives,” the National Post newspaper reported.

The complaint comes on the eve of a high-profile visit by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper next week.

The attorneys are particularly upset that the website refers to Judea and Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as “occupied territories” and declares the construction of Jewish communities and parts of the separation barrier inside those areas as illegal.

“Parts of this policy statement appear to run counter to the Canadian expressions of support for Israel and its positions,” the group wrote, “as well as against specific statements repeatedly made by Prime Minister Harper and Foreign Minister Baird.”

Information on the Foreign Affairs website reflects long-standing Canadian policy, which comports with the widely accepted international view that the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are occupied territory because they were restored to Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967.

In response, Baird’s spokesman, Rick Roth, said Harper and his Conservative government “have articulated Canada’s policy on Israel and the Middle East at great length since 2006.

“Israel has no greater friend in the world than Canada,” Roth told the Post, “and it is through our actions, not just words, that this rings true.”

Canadian Prime Minister to Address the Knesset

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will deliver a speech to the Knesset during his visit to Israel next month, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein announced Wednesday.

Harper will lead an entourage of approximately 200 politicians, businessmen and journalists towards late January. ‘”I am happy and proud to host the prime minister of Canada, a courageous and true friend of Israel,” Edelstein stated.

Harper has stood behind Israel more than other world leader the past several years, backing it during the crises in the Second Lebanon War, counter-terrorist operations in Gaza and on the Mavi Mamara flotilla that was manned by IHH terrorists in 2010.

Harper told a recent Jewish National Fund dinner in Canada, where he announced his forthcoming trip, “In the world of diplomacy, we know 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 of the Jewish people in the Middle East.”

Arabs Accuse Israel of Deploying Trees as Soldiers in the Negev

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Arabs in Canada tried to protest an appearance by Canadian Prime Stephen Harper at a Jewish National Fund of Canada event because trees that the JNF plants are “soldiers in the Zionist army of occupation,” the website of the Yediot Acharonot newspaper reported.

Harper has staunchly stood in support of Israel more than any other leader in the world and plans to visit the country in January for the first time as Prime Minister.

The JNF hosted Harper at the “Negev Dinner” Sunday, and Canadian police prevented disturbances from protesters, already riled up by the Palestinian Authority over the “Prawer Plan,” designed as a compromise to make some kind of order out of chaos on the Negev that has been overrun by tens of thousands of Bedouin in recent years.

More than 3,500 supporters of Israel, including Christians, attended the high-priced fundraiser, where Harper made a personal donation to Israel for an aviary to be known as the Stephen J. Harper Hula Valley Bird Sanctuary Visitor and Education Center in northern Israel.

He announced his first official trip to the Middle East and was so excited that he broke out into song, singing songs from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

In a videotaped message played after Mr. Harper spoke, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lauded his Canadian counterpart for “unabashedly, unapologetically,” standing up for Israel.

Outside the convention hall where the dinner was held, Arabs chanted, “Harper, Harper, will you see, Palestine will be free.” The Calgary Herald quoted  activist  Yafa Jarrar as saying, “The main message really is to push Canada to end its complicity with these violations of international law that Israel commits.”

The activist may have been referring the war crimes committed by those “soldiers” who have been planted to occupy Israel.

Canada Tells Iranian Diplomats to Take a Hike, Israel Cheers on

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Canada suspended diplomatic relations with Iran, closing down its embassy in Iran and giving Iranian diplomats in Canada five days to leave its soil, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird announced Friday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly welcomed the decision, calling on the rest of the world to follow suit while, predictably, Iran denounced it.

Speaking in Vladivostok, Russia, Baird summed up the reasons for the decision saying that the Canadian government views “the Government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today.”

Baird went on to list a litany of actions by the Iranian government, from providing military assistance to the regime of Bashir Assad in Syria, “refus[ing] to comply with UN resolutions pertaining to its nuclear program,” threatening Israel’s existence, violating human rights and supporting terrorism.

Baird also said that Iran “has shown blatant disregard for the Vienna Convention and its guarantee of protection for diplomatic personnel” and therefore “Canada can no longer maintain a diplomatic presence in Iran” due to safety reasons.

Elaborating to reporters, Baird referred to the attack on the British Embassy in Tehran last November, the New York Times reported.

That same day, Baird and Canadian Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews also announced that Canada has listed both Iran and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism. That decision will allow victims of terror to sue both countries under Canada’s Justice for Victims of Terror Act.

Later in the day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for taking “a bold measure which displays leadership and sends a clear message to Iran and the entire world.”

Netanyahu said the decision was particularly important in light of the “anti-Semitism and hatred” displayed at the conference of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, which was attended by 120 countries and U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki Moon.

Netanyahu called on the international community to follow Canada’s example and reiterated his call on the world to set “clear red lines for Iran.”

Meanwhile, an Iranian foreign ministry spokeperson, Ramin Mehmanparast, condemned Canada decision, saying it was one of Canada’s “extremist policies in the field of foreign policy” and that it was “in fact, the pursuit of Zionist and British dictated policies,” the Tehran Times reported.

The Canadian government, led by Stephen Harper and Canada’s Conservative Party, has shown support for Israel on a number of instances as of late.

In November 2010, Harper said Canada was “morally obligated to take a stand” for Israel, adding that “as long as I am Prime Minister . . . Canada will take that stand, whatever the cost.”

In May this year, Baird spoke in Washington D.C. about the importance of defending Israel, comparing Iran to the Nazi threat of World War II, and visited Israel only a few weeks ago in August.

Canada also stood with Israel in opposing the Palestinian Authority’s bid for U.N. recognition as an independent state in 2011.

Peres to Canada’s Harper: You are “Extraordinary Friend” of Israel

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Israeli President Shimon Peres praised Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his support of Israel during his 5-day state visit beginning on Monday.

“I sense that Canada is always positive, never indifferent, never neutral,” President Peres told attendees at his official welcome ceremony at Rideau Hall, according to a report by Canadian daily Globe and Mail.

The ceremony included protection by four mounted Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a 100-man honor guard, and a 21-gun military salute.

On Tuesday, the President was scheduled to plant an eastern white pine tree – known by the Iroquois tribe as the Tree of Peace – on the vice-regal grounds.

On Parliament Hill, the Israeli president was greeted by the prime minister in the Hall of Honour.  Peres called Harper an “extraordinary friend”, and told him that his support for Israel “really moved the hearts of our people.”

Report: ‘Sustained, Ongoing Undercurrent of Anti-Jewish Bias in Canada’

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Canada continues to struggle with record-high levels of antisemitism, according to The League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada’s annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents.

The audit documented 1,297 reported antisemitic incidents across Canada in 2011. Although this marked a decrease of .7% from the previous year, Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, said the organization “can take no consolation from the negligible decrease…when the antisemitism targeting Canadian Jews remains at such all-time high levels.”

Incidents of vandalism – “attacks on synagogues, school and Jewish cemeteries” – rose 14.2%, while violence fell by 20.8% and cases of harassment dropped by 5.1%.

The true gravity of the problem in Canada is better understood, said Diment, by observing long-term trends: antisemitic incidents have grown twenty-fold since B’nai Brith started monitoring antisemitism thirty years ago, “while a five-year view shows a 24.6% rise.” He also noted that “the Jewish community is the most targeted minority in hate crimes motivated by religion.

“Thirty years after the enactment of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we continue to see rocks being thrown at synagogue and school windows, deaths threats being sent via social media, visible Jews being taunted and physically assaulted on route to their homes and places of worship and even a young Jewish girl’s hair being set on fire.”

Ontario, the most populous province in Canada and home to Canada’s largest Jewish community in Toronto, saw a decrease of 3.7% in incidents from 2010. The province of Manitoba, which has a tight-knit Jewish community in Winnipeg, experienced a 30% increase over the same period. In Montreal, home to Canada’s second-largest Jewish community, the 303 reported incidents represented an increase of 9.4%.

There is little indication that the numbers would drop significantly in 2012, as the Montreal Gazette recently reported that “[i]n mid-April 2012, about 15 of the 50 Jewish owned homes in Val Morin [a town outside Montreal] were vandalized. At least two of the homes were defaced with anti-Jewish hate messages and swastikas.”

The audit seems to echo the conclusions of a similar study in Europe when it states that “a global propaganda movement that attempts to re-cast Jews as ‘oppressors,’ ‘colonialists’ and ‘despoilers’ in the Middle East” has the practical effect of inflaming hatred against Jews in Canada.

Nevertheless, Dimant expressed appreciation that “all levels of government [in Canada] work with B’nai Brith and its League for Human Rights to suppress antisemitism throughout the country.” Indeed, the numbers do not square with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s staunch support for Israel and the Jewish people, nor his unequivocal condemnation of exactly the kind of anti-Israel propaganda that the audit cites as inflaming prejudice against Canadian Jews. What’s more, a February 2012 poll found that nearly half of all Canadians expressed support for his government’s Middle East policy.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jewish-news/report-sustained-ongoing-undercurrent-of-anti-jewish-bias-in-canada/2012/05/03/

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