David Warren on the Canadian government’s principled stand for Israel and against “enlightened” leftist opinion:
There was a moment this week in which I felt very proud to be Canadian. There could be moments like that in any week, but this one was unusual for its cause. It was something done by the government, that invoked principle, and required courage. That made it something rare, to be savoured…
So let us not miss this opportunity to praise the Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper. He cost Canada a coveted seat on the UN Security Council, by refusing to sell out Israel. He withdrew our candidacy when it became apparent that the bloc vote of Arab and Islamic states (about a third of the UN membership) had been turned against us; thereby conceding the seat to Portugal, with her more flexible policy of moral appeasement.
In the course of scotching our bid, Harper allowed the announcement of an important trading agreement between Canada and Israel to go ahead, the very day before the vote. This could easily have been disguised or elided.
He likewise demurred on an attempt by the United Arab Emirates to link landing rights for commercial aviation to foreign policy positions.
In addition to organizing opposition to Canada’s Security Council bid, the Emirates have now unilaterally withdrawn Canadian access to Camp Mirage, which we have been using through the last decade in the deployment of our troops to Afghanistan. In a further move as characteristically petty and childish as it was shoddy, the UAE refused overflight permission to a plane carrying our defence minister home from a visit to Afghanistan.
Among all western nations — not excluding the United States — Canada has taken the clearest stand in defence of Israel’s legitimate rights and interests. We have paid, and we will continue to pay for this. And we should take genuine pride in paying for our defiance of efforts by the Arab and Muslim bloc at the UN to isolate Israel, and make her a pariah.
Words cannot express my contempt for Michael Ignatieff, and other opposition members, who have tried to cloud what they know is a stand on principle.
Canada is not “tilting to Israel.” Our government is rather maintaining a policy that has been consistent for more than six decades, since the state of Israel was created by the same United Nations after the Second World War.
We have affirmed and continue to affirm Israel’s right to exist, as a Jewish nation — just as she was from the beginning. And in a region where there are many squalid governments, and almost all formally claim to be “Islamic states” — where all except Israel belong to the only explicitly religious international bloc (the Organization of the Islamic Conference) — we rightly refuse to dignify objections to what they call “Zionism.”
The most abhorrent suggestion is that, by refusing to abandon our obligations to Israel, the Harper government is dabbling in “Islamophobia.” This term, through frequent repetition, has become the standard Left-Islamist smear against anyone who contradicts them…
And John Podhoretz makes a good point about Obama’s being a moderate:
…Andrew Ferguson, in [an article in the] Weekly Standard…[e]ntitled “The Roots of Lunacy,” … considers the way in which political hatred morphs over time, with particular emphasis on Dinesh D’Souza’s new bestseller, The Roots of Obama’s Rage. Andy’s point in the end is that looking for explanations for the origins of Obama’s politics is a ridiculous exercise since he is simply an “unchecked liberal” who is likely more moderate than a President Kerry or a President Edwards would have been. I don’t think that’s right; Obama’s unchecked liberalism is of an order different from the liberalism of anyone who might have served in his stead owing to the fact that it really is unchecked by any experience in political or ideological compromise of any sort. Edwards was a Democratic pol in a Southern state and had some sense at least of how to talk to people who don’t agree with him; Kerry served in the Senate for a very long time under Democratic and Republican majorities and at least had learned how to maneuver in a heterodox partisan atmosphere. None of that is true of Obama, whose inexperience both helped get him elected and now gives him absolutely no sense of how to handle the turnaround in the national mood or the disenchantment of the voters with him. Ideologically, he gives one the sense that the only conservative he’s ever talked to is David Brooks, and he views the plurality of the electorate that uses the word “conservative” to describe itself as a strange, distasteful foreign creature whose president he also, unfortunately, must be.