Harper’s bromance with Netanyahu designed to shift focus from PM’s domestic troubles
If Hollywood hadn’t already coined a bromance called I Love You, Man, they could have made a movie about the prettiest love story in international politics — namely, the one between Benjamin Netanyahu and Stephen Harper.
Mr. Harper thanked him in return, while saying that he would save his more substantive remarks for when he addresses the Knesset Monday.
But this is a relationship based upon mutual back-scratching. Mr. Netanyahu is being forced to address the prospect that Israel’s regional hegemony is under threat. At the same time, his hawkish policies on settlements in the West Bank mean Israel is increasingly isolated and ostracized. It needs friends and there have been none more unconditional than Mr. Harper.
Reminders that this is a tough neighbourhood are everywhere you look — when the media were being cleared for entry to the official welcome ceremony, a cherubic looking member of the security staff asked if we had any weapons to declare. Gulp.
The Canadian leader has his own reasons for indulging in a little bromance. Standing alongside a strongman like Mr. Netanyahu reinforces the impression that Canada is back on the world stage, with a “principled” foreign policy that does not require us to “go along, to get along.”
The Israeli prime minister welcomed his Canadian counterpart to Jerusalem Sunday, and was gushing in his praise.
“In a world that is often cynical and hypocritical, you have shown great moral leadership in fighting terrorism and not engaging in politically-correct double-talk,” he said.
Canada under Mr. Harper has stood unabashedly at the side of the Jewish people “and on the side of decency,” particularly in the face of threats from an Iranian regime set on developing nuclear weapons. “You’ve stood on the right side of history,” he said.
The Canadian government has recognized that lasting peace depends on mutual recognition and sound security arrangements. “You’ve been an indispensable voice,” the Israeli leader concluded. (Source: National Post)
— mackaycartoons (@mackaycartoons) January 21, 2014