Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Canada: showing it's a friend of Israel

In West Bank meeting, Canadian ministers take firm line with Palestinians


A Palestinian official later said they found Mr. Baird’s bluntness “refreshing.”


“There’s no mistaking where he stands,” the official said, somewhat admiringly.


"In a presentation on Monday evening to a private gathering at the Herzliya Conference, Mr.Baird, who is on his third visit to Israel, explained why the Harper government “believes so passionately in Israel’s right not only to exist, but to exist as a Jewish state and to live in peace and security.”

In part, he said, it is because “the state of Israel embodies principles that Canada values and respects.”

“It is also, in no small measure,” he added, “because Canada recognizes the long and unbroken history of anti-Semitism.”

“Israel today,” he said, “is a country whose very existence is under attack, both literally and figuratively.”

“Whether it is rockets raining down on Israeli schools, or the constant barrage of rhetorical demonization, double standards and delegitimization, Israel is under attack.”

“The easy thing to do,” Mr. Baird said, “would be simply to go along with anti-Israeli sentiment to get along with other countries.

Taking a swipe at Canada’s own historical stands on Middle East issues, Mr. Baird, who has been Foreign Minister for eight months, said “it would be easier to pretend that engaging in anti-Israeli rhetoric is being somehow even-handed and to excuse it under the false pretence of being an ‘honest broker.’”

“But Canada will not ‘go along to get along,’” he said."

No comments: