Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« The Founders of the Nation | Main | The Human Rights Commission's $167,000 Spin Doctors »

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Passion of Stephen Harper

I've got stripes / stripes around my shoulders:

The prime minister, speaking Monday at the start of an annual conference on combating anti-Semitism in Ottawa, said he's "got bruises to show" for speaking out in the international community against enemies of Israel.

Although he did not give specifics, Harper was likely referring to Canada's failed bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council last month. He also insisted there are "a lot more votes" in being anti-Israel than in "taking a stand."

Critics of the Conservative government have cited Harper's unwavering support of Israel during its ongoing conflict with the Palestinians as a possible reason for Canada's failure to gain a Security Council seat for the first time since the international body's creation.

My own theory is that the Latin American states rallied to Portugal in a bid for ethnic solidarity, and to give a two fingered salute to the gringos. The Latin Front theory, however, hasn't gained too much traction in Ottawa. It's just not very useful politically.

The Canadian Left has tried to frame Canada's defeat in the UN Security Council as deserved punishment, for the government's pro-Israel stand. Well, that's just fine with the PMO. The suffering for Israel spin suits two competing narratives, which reinforce each other.

The Prime Minister has been courting the Jewish vote for years, and being pro-Israel plays well to the Conservative Party base. Getting "bruises" for defending Israel shows just how principled the Tories are on international affairs. Then again critics of the government's foreign policy are not traditional, or likely, Conservative voters. It's easy to be principled with so little at stake.

Posted by Richard Anderson on November 13, 2010 | Permalink


Harper settled on this PR tactic after the "we didn't get a seat on the UNSC because of Ignatieff" gambit failed - it allows him, and by extension his base, to play the principled political martyr card.

They only people who buy that are the unquestioning hyper-partisans, the thinking Conservative (and I know a couple) see it for what it is, and it's turned into another point against him.

Posted by: stageleft | 2010-11-13 6:01:41 AM

"It's easy to be principled with so little at stake." I disagree with the above. It could be applied to Harper's stance on Iran. Harper has always been consistent on certain policies but apparently it's only for courting votes.

The reality is - anything Harper (and the conservative party) does and say will be criticized by the left and the RINOs (right-in-name-only).

Yes, the Tories were stupid by blaming everyone but themselves for the "loss" of the UNSC seat. However, I find it silly that a lot of Canadians think that Canada deserved the seat because the world loves us. And that is a myth.

Posted by: ShawnC | 2010-11-13 9:23:46 AM

I get a chuckle about the Conservatives spin doctors desperately trying to stretch the truth as to how great their leader or party is and cause more discredit to themselves rather .. Mr. Harper is and has been a leader of a minority government, and has never been a majority leader and likley never will be too.. A recent poll found 24.3% of Canadians describe Mr. Harper as the most trustworthy leader, MEANING THAT 75 PERCENT DID NOT AGREE WITH THIS..


o PM Stephen Harper cares about all abused Jewish persons but doe she care about poor Canadian persons who are not Jewish who often get too often abused by bad corporations like Bell, Telus, etc.,

- and is he also concerned about the number of people who die each year in Canada due to a hospital acquired illness or medical neglects, errors? How many per year?
- and is he also concerned about dealing with the negative example personally, by example with the bad side effect of alcohol, cause of major death of Canadian teenagers, Canadian vehicular accident too. How many per year?
- and for the Canadian wives or husbands that have been killed, abused by their spouses. How many per year?
- and what about the Canadian natives who are abused in Canada? How many per year?
- and what about the Canadian seniors who are abused, neglected in Canada? How many per year?
-but more importantly also for all the Canadian children who have been killed murdered by their parents. How many per year?
and how now does he show it?

And did my abused father have to be Jewish firstly to get PM Stephen Harper’s attention?


Posted by: thenonconformer | 2010-11-13 5:00:43 PM

I am no spin doctor, never voted conservative in my life. Nor am I am I a member of the Jewish faith.
I am extremely proud of Harper though.
Jewish votes are frankly not worth courting, too few of them, it seems like the writer though is trying to court Jewish hating votes against Harper which are quite substantial.
While we condemn gay bashing, condemn prejudice against blacks etc., its about time more Canadians spoke up when they heard prejudice against Jews.
Its become way too commonplace. I only wish more Germans spoke up against it.
Israel has a right to defend itself. It is the only democracy in a sea of violent extremists. This shouldn't just be a conservative issue, don't make it one.
Israel bashing these days, particularly since 911, is a PR tactic, not supporting it.
Good on you Harper for speaking up for what you believe in. I know your sentiment is heart felt as it is by those who have seen past the terrorists and Nazi fear tactic propaganda.

Posted by: Brenda Story | 2010-11-13 10:26:13 PM

Brenda - Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, and Iraq are also democracies. Jordan and Kuwait are constitutional monarchies, not unlike the UK.

I don't think that there are many people who would argue for discrimination against people for being Jewish, however let us not conflate criticism of the actions and policies of the state of Israel with antisemitism. We may disagree about whether some of the policies or actions of the state of Israel are justified or legal or moral or humane but it is disingenuous and specious to label such disagreement as antisemitism; that is nothing but a smear-campaign to discredit any contrary points of view.

I agree with you on the need see past and to stop the propaganda machine; we hear the words terrorist, and suicide-bombers long enough and now we dehumanize the Palestinian people and take sides in the larger conflict. So now we're demonizing an entire people for the actions of the few? That doesn't sound to me like a principled position it sounds a little bit racist. The PM taking sides in this conflict is a huge mistake.

Posted by: Dan | 2010-11-14 11:39:16 AM

It is already clear to many that the UN is a corrupt, Liberty-subverting body, dedicated to the global promotion of Islamic savagery and socialism. Time for all civilized nation to do the right thing: defend Liberty by abandoning the UN. Perhaps Iran will want to be its new headquarters? No doubt the UN will feel right at home there.

Posted by: AB Patriot | 2010-11-14 2:02:00 PM

Thank you Brenda for attempting to clarify the issue. However Dan is either wilfully ignorant or just another propaganda tool in claiming that Lebanon, Jordan and Kuwait are also democracies. Mind you I recall the Soviet Union claiming its people were free and we have the "People's Republic of Chine", but then no one takes them seriously. I shall allow a pass on Iraq since the fat woman has not yet sung. If Iraq does manage to become a democracy it will be due to the intervention of the West, but it remains to be seen if it will succeed.

As for the so-called Palestinian people, a documented KGB invention, what can one say, but the attempt to whitewash terrorists is revolting.

Posted by: Alain | 2010-11-14 7:19:53 PM

Actually Alain you seem to be the propaganda tool - though I will grant you Jordan since parliament was dissolved in 2009 and no elections scheduled but...

Lebanon has an elected Legislative branch. Described in the CIA world factbook as unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Nuwab (Arabic) or Assemblee Nationale (French) (128 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of sectarian proportional representation to serve four-year terms). elections: last held on 7 June 2009 (next to be held in 2013)

Sounds democratic to me and so does Kuwait.

Kuwait - unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Umma (50 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 16 May 2009 (next election to be held in 2013)

"As for the so-called Palestinian people" - Thanks for proving my point.

Posted by: Dan | 2010-11-15 10:41:09 AM

Yes Dan that sounds very nice but remains fiction. I have actually lived in such a country in Africa which was a "democracy" on paper and there were even "elections". The funny thing was that the ruling party always received more votes than there were voters by a fairly large margin.

The case of the "Palestinian people" being a KGB creation is well documented and not simply my opinion. As I said you are either wilfully ignorant or simply a propaganda tool. There is no point in continuing since others can form their own conclusion based on a wee bit of research for the truth.

Posted by: Alain | 2010-11-15 11:33:18 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.