Contrasting the President’s, Canadian PM’s Views on Israel

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President Barack Obama
sharply and unfairly criticized Israel while visiting Indonesia, the
world’s largest Muslim country. While visiting mosques and meeting Muslim
leaders and giving speeches about building better relations with Muslims, the
president gratuitously chose to criticize the Jewish state for daring to
announce the building of some 1,300 new apartments in Jerusalem to deal
with the city’s population growth. The president said such moves were an
impediment to the peace process with the Palestinians.

“This kind of activity is never
helpful when it comes to peace negotiations,” said President Obama. “I’m
concerned that we’re not seeing each side make the extra effort involved to get
a breakthrough. … Each of these incremental steps can end up breaking trust.”

Unhelpful? Breaking trust? You’ve
got to be kidding me. Netanyahu imposed a 10-month
moratorium on new building in Jerusalem and the West Bank as a goodwill
gesture to the Palestinians to encourage them to begin direct peace
negotiations. Yet Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas squandered
nine of those months by refusing to enter such talks. Then Abbas
engaged for a few weeks, but refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state,
refused to agree to the Palestinians having a demilitarized state, and now has
broken off direct talks and refuses to re-engage with Netanyahu,
even though Israel is offering to allow the creation of  a
Palestinian state.

Prime Minister
Netanyahu, currently visiting the U.S., immediately responded to President
Obama’s criticism: “Jerusalem
is not a settlement; Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel.” He
is absolutely correct. Israel has every right to build homes for Jews, Muslims
and Christians in her capital. The “unhelpful” intransigence is on the
Palestinian side. If Abbas wants a state, he should negotiate for one directly
and in good faith, not wait for President Obama to force Israel to
accept Abbas’ demands.

Moreover, the critical question
facing the U.S., Israel and the world right now should not be stopping the
building of apartments in Jerusalem but stopping the building of nuclear
weapons in Iran. Yet the Obama administration is not taking decisive action to
stop Iran from getting the bomb, and refuses to put a credible military threat
against Iran on the table.

Contrast President Obama’s deeply
unfriendy approach toward Israel with Canadian Prime
Minister Stephen Harper’s consistently courageous pro-Israel approach.

  • Harper was the first world leader to
    order his U.N. delegation to walk out of a speech at the U.N.
    General Assembly by Iranian President Mahmoud
    Ahmadinejad several years ago.
  • Harper was the first world leader to announce
    Canada would not be sending a delegation to the U.N.’s Durban II conference,
    which was supposed to be about opposing racism but turned into a vicious
    anti-Israel forum whose keynote speaker was Ahmadinejad, a man who has
    denied the Holocaust and has repeatedly called for the “annihilation” of
    the Jewish State.
  • When the Gaza flotilla crisis unfolded,
    Harper stood strongly with Israel’s right to defend herself from terrorist
    and left-wing activist attacks, whereas the White House equivocated.
  • In contrast to President Obama, Prime
    Minister Harper has built a warm and increasingly close professional
    relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
  • Harper has strongly urged the world
    to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program before it is too late.
  • Harper has been so pro-Israel
    that Canada recently lost a bid to be on the U.N.
    Security Council because anti-Israel countries coalesced against
    Canada and prevented her from attaining such a globally influential

This week, Prime Minister
Harper delivered a major address saying he and the people of Canada will
continue to stand with Israel and defend the Jewish people no matter what the

“As long as I am prime minister,
whether it is at the U.N. or the Francophonie or
anywhere else, Canada will take that stand, whatever the cost,” Harper told a
conference on anti-Semitism. ”Not just because it is the right thing
to do but because history shows us, and the ideology of the anti-Israeli mob
tells us all too well, that those who threaten the existence of the Jewish
people are a threat to all of us.”

“We must be relentless in
exposing this new anti-Semitism for what it is,” Harper said. According to a report by the Canadian Broadcasting Company,
Harper noted that Israel, like any country, may be subjected to fair
criticism, he said. But Harper said Canada must oppose what he called the
“three Ds—demonization, double standards and delegitimization.”

“And like any free country Israel
subjects itself to such criticism, healthy, necessary, democratic
debate. But when Israel, the only country in the world whose very
existence is under attack, is consistently and conspicuously singled out for
condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand.”

Please lift Harper
and his family, advisers and his country up to the Lord. Please ask the Lord to
bless them, to continue giving them courage and boldness. Please ask the
Lord, as well, what we as evangelical Christians can do to properly thank and
bless the Prime Minister for the courage of his convictions.

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