Canadian PM: I will always stand up for Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, November 9, 2010
Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper

The Canadian Prime Minister has said that his country will support Israel “whatever the cost”.

Speaking at a conference on combating antisemitism in Ottawa, Stephen Harper said that while Israel may be subjected to “fair criticism”, there was a moral obligation to take a stand against “demonisation, double standards, delegitimisation.”

He said: “I know… because I have the bruises to show for it, that whether it is at the United Nations, or any other international forum, the easy thing to do is simply to just get along and go along with this anti-Israeli rhetoric, to pretend it is just being even-handed, and to excuse oneself with the label of ‘honest broker’.”

“There are, after all, a lot more votes, a lot more, in being anti-Israeli than in taking a stand.

“But, as long as I am Prime Minister, whether it is at the UN or the Francophonie or anywhere else, Canada will take that stand.”

He added: “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, in the longer term, a threat to all of us.”

Mr Harper, who recently visited the site of the Babi Yar massacre in the Ukraine, told the conference “even now, there are those who would choose evil, and would launch another Holocaust.

He said: “We have no excuse to be complacent. In fact we have a duty to take action.”

Watch the speech here

Last updated: 3:43pm, November 9 2010