What’s the dealio on all the outrage following Stephen Harper’s remark that “virtually all” the 8 candidates running for the Liberal leadership race are anti-Israel? Oh, right, this is Canada. Canadians love to wax indignant especially when provoked by a Conservative Prime Minister commenting on the leadership choices running for the “natural governing party.” Harper’s comment came at an awfully convenient time for Michael Ignatieff supporters just as their leader was spastically flipping all over the place over the issue of Israel’s attack on the Lebanese town of Qana this past Summer. He’s gone from suggesting he lost no sleep over civilian deaths caused by the war in Qana, to suggesting Israel committed war crimes when it attacked the Lebanese town. Harper’s comments came at an opportune time for Liberals to loudly wail in protest in order to drown out a major gaffe committed by their Harvard Messiah. It’s a nice tactic of distraction, commonly used by 6 year olds.
While it would’ve been wise for Harper to keep quiet and allow the leadership contenders to pummel Ignatieff by themselves, it shouldn’t be lost on observers how serious Ignatieff’s flip flop puts to question his decisiveness on international issues.
Perhaps it was tactical for Harper to point out his own resolute stance on the recent mideast conflict which did not waver one bit, but in fact challenged the fence-sitting or non existant traditional stance Canada had played in that region of the world, primarily under Liberal governments. That fact is we saw examples of bias by the Liberal party against the state of Israel this summer. Let’s not forget the “fact finding mission” Opposition MP’s took to Lebanon this August. As well, calls to remove Hezbollah from the terrorist list.
Harper’s not accusing Liberals of being anti-semetic, he’s accusing them of being anti-Israel. Maybe it was a stretch for Harper to blanket the entire slate of Liberal contenders as anti-Israel, when in fact backbench elements in the Liberal caucus better fit the bill. It may not exactly be fitting for a Prime Minister to make such a statement, but to those who see Ignatieff’s bold statement claiming “war crimes” as refreshing, the same can be said of Harper who isn’t afraid of saying what’s on his mind as well.