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Stephen Harper. Photo: CIJnews

Former PM Stephen Harper joins Friends of Israel Initiative

On November 15, 2016, at a meeting in Toronto, Friends of Israel Initiative welcomed former Prime Minister Stephen Harper as a new member.

The organization, composed mainly of non-Jewish world leaders, was founded in 2010 by former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar. Its board of directors includes such notable figures as Peru’s former president Alejandro Toledo, former US Congressman and retired Army Colonel Allen West, former British Military Commander Richard Kemp, former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and former Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird.

The Initiative, whose mandate is to defend Israel’s right to exist, arose out of a sense of deep concern about the unprecedented campaign of delegitimization of Israel waged by the enemies of the Jewish State, as well as the onslaught of radical Islamism and threat of the Iranian nuclear program.

Throughout his tenure as Canada’s Prime Minister, Harper has been a vocal and unapologetic supporter of Israel who has consistently backed the Jewish State not just in Canada, but also on the international stage.

Some of the most notable examples of Canada’s support under his leadership include becoming the first country after Israel to cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority when Hamas (a group which Canada designates as a terrorist organization) won elections in Gaza, being one of only nine countries to vote against the accord to grant Palestinian Authority a ‘Non-Member Observer State’ at the United Nations, boycotting the anti-Semitic Durban II UN conference in Geneva, walking out of the UN when former Iranian dictator Ahmedinejad took to the podium, condemning Hamas and Hezbollah’s aggression towards Israel and supporting Israel’s right to defend itself against Palestinian terror.

Under Harper, the Conservative Party has taken a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism, denounced the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement as “hateful and deceitful” and recognized that anti-Zionism is “the new face of anti-Semitism”.

In a historic speech to the Israeli Knesset on January 20, 2014 – the first such speech by a Canadian prime minister – Harper said that Canada and Israel are the greatest of friends and the most natural of allies, and that the friendship between the two countries is based on shared values and strongly held inner convictions. He applauded Israel for making the desert bloom, for its accomplishments and its courage living under constant threat of terror, and said that Canada supports Israel because it is the right thing to do. ”It is right to support Israel – because, after generations of persecution, the Jewish people deserve their own homeland – and deserve to live safely and peacefully in that homeland,” Harper told the Knesset.

His concluded the speech with the iconic quote: “through fire and water, Canada will stand with you”.

For his steadfast support of Israel and the Jewish people, Harper won special recognition from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, B’nai Brith, Canadian Jewish Congress and Yad Vashem. The Jewish National Fund named a bird sanctuary in Northern Israel in his honour, and the Jewish Community Council of Montreal presented him with the King David humanitarian award.

Harper continues to support Israel even after retiring from politics. Following a private dinner with top Republican donors in Las Vegas in April which his spokeswoman said should be viewed “exclusively” as expression of his continuing support for the Jewish State, Harper tweeted: “Thanks all for a great weekend in support of Israel”.

On December 23, 2016, he publicly thanked President-elect Donald Trump for being a “principled voice on Israel at the UN” after Trump urged the US to veto an anti-Israel resolution at the Security Council. In the end, the Obama administration opted to abstain from the vote, which signalled a shocking departure from four decades of US policy of shielding Israel from unfair treatment at the United Nations.

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About Ilana Shneider

Ilana Shneider
Ilana Shneider is the co-editor of CIJnews and the founding executive director of Canada-Israel Friendship Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the mutually beneficial, long-standing diplomatic, economic and cultural ties between Canada and Israel. She can be reached at ilana@canada-israel.org

90 comments

  1. Mr Harper,I thank you for standing with lsrael ,God bless you

  2. I miss Stephen Harper. I want him back and let’s boot the clown in office out.

  3. Great PM and a true friend of Israel and the Jewish people.

  4. Harper is the Randy Quaid of Christmas……………

  5. We will vote for you MR.Harper you will be next Prime Minister we wish him out from the parlimjent soon..

  6. 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍❤❤❤❤❤that’s a real n great leader……

  7. Obama unfortunately just stabbed Israel in the back before leaving office. Very disappointing and unexpected. Sour grapes?

  8. We need to stay out of middle East. All crazy religious freaks.let them finish their own business. All nuts in that part of the world. No amount of money will cure the problem.

  9. YES! It’s time to STAND with ISRAEL! It’s time to EXPOSE MUSLIM TRUDEAU & the UN AGENDA!!

  10. What an admirable leader…I believe he was the leader God intended Canada to have at this time…God’s choice…but the people got deceived. I hope we get turned around in 2019…

  11. Funny at all the righties who are lost 35 year conservative and this guy is the worst leader ever in PC history smh

  12. I applaud Obama. He was not alone. Both the U.K. and France want Israel to stop settling in the occupied territory. Israel does not approach peace with any better faith than the Palestinians and need to stop acting so poorly and relying on bigger powers to have their back.

  13. ruined the country with his excessive spending and bad government. Probably ruin this organization as well. Good luck

  14. Why is Kanaduh licking Israhell’s boots? If it were any other country disregarding a UN mandate, they would be getting bombed by the western powers. Enough of the double standards and hypocrisy.

  15. I love Stephen Harper and miss his leadership every day.

  16. Always a good man and a strong leader

  17. In this instance I agree with the U.N. and its stance on Isreali expansion into territory that does not belong to them. I am quite sure if any of you owned a piece of property and an outsider decided they would like to build their home on a chunk of it you would protest, but we have laws that protect us from this type of behaviour. I am not a Palestinian supporter as the behaviour of some member of that society have committed some atrocious acts. That does not excuse Isreal of its behaviour and somewhat child like response to being told that they are wrong and have been for quite some time. Who is the aggressor here and who is acting petulant? Somewhat akin to a child at a playground that can’t get its own way. Well I will just take my ball and go home. I realize there is a lot of history and conflicts since before time in memorial but if we are going to base what is the truth on fairy tales then we as North Americans better be careful were we tread. Think our native population and try to justify those facts.

    • Read the Bible. The interlopers are the so-called Palestinians. They built their mosque ON TOP OF THE JEWISH TEMPLE and now they say it’s theirs? The land is actually called JUDEA because it was the land of the Jews.

    • The UN has constantly put out resolution against Israel. Constantly condemning Israel but never condemnation of Palestinian terrorism upon Israeli civilians. The land that Israel is building on is Jordanian territory won in the 67 war. Jerusalem has always been the centre of the Jewish people for 3000 years. But now the UNESCO claims that there is no Jewish ties to the city. Who are the aggressors? The people constantly attacking Israel with suicide bombers and terrorist raids and hijackings or rocket launchers and terror tunnels. Or is the small country that has to defend itself from a surrounding horde that want total annihilation of Israel and the Jewish people living there.

    • Mr. Young: Long before there was Christianity, there was Jewish sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. Long before the Islamic hordes tore out of the Arabian peninsula and OCCUPIED great swaths of the Middle East and North Africa, there was a Jewish kingdom in Judea and Samaria. They were the ones that slaughtered and forced conversion on local populations. I know who is occupying whom; and I am certain you do as well. So, please, let us be real.
      In 1947, when the UN restored only partial Jewish sovereignty in their ancient homeland, Jews accepted. The real occupiers, the squatters on Jewish land did not and declared war, along with their Arab brethren. Repeated attempts (1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973) were repulsed by Israel and those military encounters resulted changed boundaries. Since when must aggressors be rewarded.

    • Diane, if memory serves me correct Isreal did not become a country until 1949 and that was the result of an attempt by a total lunatic to try to exterminate the entire Jewish population and the reluctance of the world community into lending safe refuge. As far as the bible goes, if you wish to believe fairy tales that is your perogative. In my own humble opinion religions in all its forms are responsible for a huge percentage of the conflicts that have and are still occurring to this day. Again and again the religions are great at preaching but fail miserably at practicing the very truths of what they speak. However what they do well is accumulate a lot of wealth and with wealth comes power and with power comes corruption. That is the real truth whether you like it or not so you can take your bible rabble and place it where the sun does not shine.

    • Bob Young Israel was declared a country in 1948. After 2000 years of occupation by Romans, Ottomans, Arabs, and British the Hebrew people (a lot living there since the Romans took over) returned home and built a country out of desert and swamps they bought from Arab land owners. Once they made the land fertile and worth something, the surrounding Arabs want to possess it. Maybe you don’t believe in the Bible, but the Jewish people have been on the land for about 4000 years. The Palestinian Arabs are a group of Arabs who claim the name Palestinian when there were no such a people until Britain call the land Palestine. Up until then the Arabs were Egyptian and Jordanian.

    • I fully support Israel’s right to exist and oppose Palestinian terrorism, but I believe settlements are unhelpful. I agree the UN is hypocritical for holding Israel to a different standard as others, but that doesn’t mean I always agree with Israel. No country is perfect and no country is above criticism. Also I am glad Harper is no longer PM although I don’t like Trudeau either. Hopefully at some point in the future we can have a moderate centre-right PM, not a right wing ideologue like Harper or tax and spend liberal like Trudeau.

    • Mr Young you are obviously ignorant of the facts. There has never been a nation called Palestine. There is no Palestine history no Palestine culture, not even a Palestine language. The muslims in the Middle East are invaders who have occupied the lands of the indigenous inhabitants of the middle east since their paedophile prophet Mohammed invaded. Your ignorant comments are making you a useful idiot for the muslim invasion that is currently taking place in the West. You need to spend less time worrying about a non existent people and more time being concerned about the future of your own country.

  18. Just when we’d thought we’d seen last of this phony self righteous out of touch imbecile we are insulted by another disturbing photo of him! I still feel like gagging each time I see his Conservative face…. 🙁

  19. Harper has always been awesome!

  20. Obama sure screwed the U.S.A. over 1 last time again ,Isreal can’t wait for the TRUMP CARD

  21. Dear God what have these uneducated idiots voters done to our beautiful country. To vote a boy in to run a country that never worked a day in his life . How stupid can people be .

  22. PM Harper is an exceptional leader, a moral and principled individual, a great man, and a courageous human being.

    He is steadfast in his support for Israel, may God bless his soul!

  23. we are screwd with trudeau, disgusting, to late more fakeugees and welfare leeches on their way, get ready for more taxes, and free university for them, not the working poor. Keep your eye open on the trudeau foundation for muslim only sponsorship.

  24. When you really believe in Israel’s right to exist and you are not Jewish, when you are someone whose opinion carries weight with others, it is important that you raise your voice to speak out against the irrational antisemitic, anti-Israel voices that tend to dominate the debate. Stephen Harper has never shied away from taking a principled and perhaps unpopular stand and thankfully continues to do so.

  25. JT is too busy entertaining the billionaires to care about Isreal

  26. Great news to hear! A true Canadian

    • And the Best Prime Minister Canada ever had. It is too bad we have dipstick as our Prime
      Minister instead of having Mr. Harper up there. Mr. Trump and Mr. Harper would have gotten along great.

  27. A real leader, Trudeau is a bleeder. We will be ruined, it will happen with clowns in the government and Soros as the advisor. We are so screwed beyond belief but the liberal morons are singing songs as they collect their government cheques. What me worry?

  28. We could sure use him as PM right now.Trudeau is a total disgrace

  29. Gotta love the “former” in front of the pm.

  30. Once again a true Canadian leader is called upon to represent Canadian values. I stand with Isreal and Harper.

  31. Thrilled to see former PM Stephen Harper join this organisation. He is still representing so many Canadians who also stand with Israel.

  32. I blame Trudeau

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