Trending Topics:

Canadian pols’ pandering to Israel is even more clownish than US pols, but at least they do it on camera

Israel/Palestine
on 40 Comments

Everyone else has posted this excruciating video of Canadian Premier Stephen Harper serenading Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu in Jerusalem the other night, so we have to get it up too. Unbelievable.

Harper went over with more than 200 guests, paid for by the government. I couldn’t believe a NPR show was making fun of Stephen Harper’s craven visit last night; then I heard the accents and understood it was this Canadian CBC show, Q, on late last night. The Canadian media commentators problematized the fact that the taxpayers paid for the 200 guests, including right wing Zionists, and that he was so over the top with a foreign leader on foreign soil to advance political goals back home. Confusing, huh?

But even worse was this moment at the Western Wall, in occupied East Jerusalem:

The story:

[Conservative Canadian MP Mark] Adler was caught on microphone asking Jeremy Hunt, one of Harper’s staffers, whether he could get a photo with Harper in front of the wall, a holy site for Jewish prayer.

“Jeremy, Jeremy,” Adler said. “Can we get in?

“No,” Hunt replied.

Adler was undeterred.

“This, it’s the re-election. This is the million-dollar shot,” Adler said.

Hunt, who is referred to as Harper’s “director of stakeholders’ relations and outreach” on the Israel delegation list, but has been Harper’s executive assistant in the past, is likely used to saying no on behalf of his boss.

“I’m sorry, listen, you and 300 other people,” Hunt said to Adler.

“If there’s one person, you know … if I could have done this it would have been done already.”

Adler then asked whether Hunt could get Harper over to shake his hand once he was done at the wall, but Hunt’s response isn’t captured on tape.

Mark Adler now says this:

Mark Adler, the Conservative MP who cited “re-election” when he pleaded for a photo with Prime Minister Stephen Harper in front of Israel’s Western Wall, says he was being tongue-in-cheek.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, one day after he was captured on tape urging Harper’s staff to get him in front of the wall with the prime minister for a photo, Adler said he was joking.

Was he joking? Listen to the video above, it seems pretty earnest to me. How important are such moments to political ambition in America? I saw Mitt Romney there, with Dan Senor. Guess it didn’t help him.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

40 Responses

  1. Krauss
    January 25, 2014, 11:52 am

    We’re seeing a strange phenomenom in the West: the right-wing is coalecing around Israel as an object to support. Typically it’s motivated by a desire to be like Israel(ethnocentric etc) but without the ability to do so, hence the focus on Islam in Europe, as it is a proxy on race. Even Norway’s(!) new PM is blatantly taking the sides of Israel. Every single country in the Anglosphere except the U.S. is now governed by a conservative PM and that has added a sense of security for Israel.

    Of course, the U.S. is the only place where there is bipartisan support(enforced by money and media support). Nevertheless, Julia Gillard was pretty strongly biased to Israel. But the Anglosphere has always been more right-wing than the rest of the West; this is true in economics too where these economies have tended to have smaller governments, lower taxes and a higher degree of willingness to go to war in general.

    • Krauss
      January 25, 2014, 11:54 am

      As for Harper, he is a fanatical Christian Evangelist. He’s a Bush, but with more brains and more of a sophisticated demeanor(but deep down the crazyness is the same).

      The lobby is weaker in Canada(though by no means weak).
      He doesn’t really need to do what he does, which is probably why Bibi likes him so much. Bibi understands it’s genuine fanaticism on the part of Harper, which is why they get along so splendidly.

      • Taxi
        January 25, 2014, 1:55 pm

        I am a big fan of your posts, Krauss – I find them very intelligent and engaging and I always learn something new from reading them. I want to encourage you and applaud your fine-tuned brains and communication skills, not forgetting your clear sense of morality.

        I’d just like to say, though, that actually Europeans are generally more socialist-left than right-wing. In fact, a few years when I visited Denmark, I found it amusing that my Danish friends were discussing with horror a right wing politician (can’t remember his name now), and when I asked them what he stood for, they kindly gave a long list that would have been a carbon copy of what most American Democrats stand for. I concluded from this, and from having lived in Europe for 27 years too, that what Europe considers right-wing, is actually closer to the American idea of leftism.

        I think excess (US) capitalism is the reason for this wonky (mis)equivalence.

      • Talkback
        January 26, 2014, 3:56 am

        I concluded from this, and from having lived in Europe for 27 years too, that what Europe considers right-wing, is actually closer to the American idea of leftism.

        You can also conclude that what Europe considers right extremist and close to Neo-Nazi parties is what Israel considers to be non-leftist.

    • Walid
      January 25, 2014, 1:10 pm

      “… willingness to go to war in general.”

      One has to wonder who profited the most by the 3 year war in Syria. One Gulf state alone spent over 4 billions before it walked away. One can only guess what Saudia Turkey and the others spent. The war was surely great for some and is going to be greater for others once the rebuilding of the destroyed country starts.

    • Justpassingby
      January 25, 2014, 1:34 pm

      Yes, Norway’s minister belong to the populist anti-islam parties in europe.
      Thats why Israel want islamophobia to increase in the west.

    • Herb Glatter
      January 25, 2014, 5:54 pm

      and don’t forget Australia Australia FM: Don’t call settlements illegal under international law

      Read more: Australia FM: Don’t call settlements illegal under international law | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/australia-fm-dont-call-settlements-illegal-under-international-law/#ixzz2rSBiuXVj
      Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook

  2. pabelmont
    January 25, 2014, 12:02 pm

    Cannot they sue him for misappropriation of gummink funds? Or throw him (and any other rascals) out? 200 people? (Recall when N’yahu wouldn’t go to Mandela’s memorial because of the expense? He should have asked Canada * * * .)

  3. amigo
    January 25, 2014, 12:07 pm

    We have some dumb pols in Ireland but none come close to this idiot Harper.

    Jeez, what an embarrassment he must be to normal people.

    • Walid
      January 25, 2014, 1:02 pm

      Amigo, what’s Harper doing that’s so different from the fawning over Israel by Obama? At least the Canadian Parliament and Senate are not falling over themselves in their display of love for Israel. I find his great love for Israel obviously religiously motivated annoying, but not embarrassing. So he loves Israel, but AhmadiNejad was fawning all over Palestinians all the time and nobody criticized him for it. So did Chavez and many others.

      • amigo
        January 25, 2014, 1:43 pm

        Walid, I am referring to his singing career.

        That he loves Israel begs the question? What,s to love.

        If one of my pols was falling all over a criminal entity such as Israel , I would be embarrassed by that.

      • Walid
        January 25, 2014, 2:37 pm

        I wouldn’t love Israel either, amigo. But he still has a right to if he wants.

      • Theo
        January 27, 2014, 9:52 am

        Harper was not in Israel as a private person, but as the ministerpresident of his country, therefore he certainly should control his private adoration. Religious sentimentalism should not be the tenor of his visit, but cool political talks, benefiting the country he represents.
        If Canada wants religious ties with Israel, they should send a bishop.

      • Taxi
        January 25, 2014, 2:04 pm

        Walid,
        Most euros who “love” israel, do it out of guilt. Whereas most people who love Palestinians do it out of love for justice and empathy with the underdog.

        Not forgetting here that euro politicians love israel because they love the career enhancements that come with it. Noting that the majority of european citizenry have already fallen out of guilt/love with israel by now, as polls clearly show.

      • Theo
        January 27, 2014, 10:08 am

        Taxi

        I live in Europe since decades and find very little “love” of Israel if you contact the average person, a no issue is a more proper statement. The political cast hangs on, because they want the support of the financially well stocked jewish groups and associations, (see the USA), or in case of Germany and Austria, they are under the constant pressure or even blackmail by the ever present jewish central committe.
        Here we should not confuse Israel with the jews, as contrary to the ever ringing alarm of zionists over new anti-semitism, there is none to talk about. Sure, you may find a few individuals, however there is a much greater anti-islam phobia and that flame is fanned by jewish sources.

      • Patrick
        January 25, 2014, 3:12 pm

        Walid, When Harper travels abroad like this, he is supposed to be representing Canada, not acting out his religious beliefs. A great many Canadians do find Harper an embarrassment precisely because his actions during this trip have conveyed a warped sense of Canada’s positions and values.

        Overall, Harper has damaged Canada’s international reputation. This has to do with his over-the-top Israel right or wrong stance as well as other matters, especially his government’s stance on addressing climate change. One consequence was that Canada was voted down in its application for a non-permanent seat on the UN security council in 2010, a development which surprised and shocked many people in the country.

        See: http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2010/10/12/canada_withdraws_from_race_for_un_council_seat.html

      • Walid
        January 25, 2014, 6:15 pm

        Patrick, was Obama an embarrassment when he put on a kippah to visit the museum and when he stuck his folded message in the wall? You’re misunderstanding me. I’m not saying Harper is right or that he should drool over Israel, I’m simply saying it’s his right to do so. The good news is that Trudeau is ahead in the January poll.

      • American
        January 25, 2014, 6:44 pm

        @ Walid

        That is hardly the same thing.
        Harpers ‘right to do something’ and embarassing Canadians with his drooling pandering are two different things.
        And I wouldnt say Harper ‘had a right ‘ to insert his own personal craziness into affairs of state. Canada’s ‘Israel position’ is NOT about him and his own personal feelings.
        There is notion among politicans now that they are elected by voters to carry out their personal beliefs and ‘preferences’—they are totally wrong….they are hired to carry out the wishes of their majority constituents.

      • just
        January 25, 2014, 7:04 pm

        Walid– I saw his actions and donning of the kippah as a sign of respect. I was not entirely overjoyed, but I did not see it as “an embarrassment”.

        I think that this is far more of an affront:

        “In July 2008, U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama placed a written prayer in the Wall.[14] After Obama and his entourage departed, his note—written on hotel stationery—was removed from the Wall by a seminary student who sold it to the Maariv newspaper. The newspaper published the note, prompting criticism from other news sources and from the Rabbi of the Western Wall for violating the privacy that is inherent in notes placed in the Wall.[15]”

        wiki

      • Walid
        January 25, 2014, 7:30 pm

        Just, Obama is supposedly a good Christian and as such, should have listened to the good word:

        “… But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6:6)

        Obama was fully aware that there were about 300 cameras aimed at him when he did it. It was an irreverent stunt, not much better than the Canadian clowns that wanted the “million dollar shot” at the wall..

      • eljay
        January 25, 2014, 8:39 pm

        >> If one of my pols was falling all over a criminal entity such as Israel , I would be embarrassed by that.

        If I respected Harper, I might be embarrassed by his actions. As it is, I just consider his (expression of) unconditional support for an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state – simply because it’s a “Jewish State” – to be utterly shameful.

        >> Obama was fully aware that there were about 300 cameras aimed at him when he did it. It was an irreverent stunt, not much better than the Canadian clowns that wanted the “million dollar shot” at the wall..

        Making obeisance only at Yad Vashem doesn’t seem to suffice anymore.

      • Patrick
        January 25, 2014, 10:29 pm

        Walid: “I’m not saying Harper is right or that he should drool over Israel, I’m simply saying it’s his right to do so. ”

        On this I disagree. Travelling abroad as leader of the Gov’t of Canada entails obligations and responsibilities. This is a trip, paid for by Canadian taxpayers, in which Harper is representing the country. By acting from personal religious inclinations he is not properly representing Canada.

  4. just
    January 25, 2014, 12:55 pm

    ““This, it’s the re-election. This is the million-dollar shot,” Adler said.”

    ugh. If only our own groveling, fellating pols were so brazenly “honest”. One could probably photo shop thousands of them doing the same thing and be right on target.

    As for Harper– he’s got no voice nor taste. Wonder how most of the good people of Canada feel about him now.

    (btw– I cannot make out the “D” in Jude. Sounds as though he is wailing ‘hey Jew’)

    • Walid
      January 26, 2014, 5:44 am

      “Wonder how most of the good people of Canada feel about him now.”

      He’s down in the polls taken in early January and likely to lose the elections scheduled for October 2015. Will probably drop more in the next polls because of his Israel trip; Canadians are not into the guilt stuff still being experienced by the Europeans and Americans.

  5. Justpassingby
    January 25, 2014, 1:35 pm

    sarah netanyahu really looks like satan.

    • MahaneYehude1
      January 25, 2014, 2:15 pm

      sarah netanyahu really looks like satan.

      That reminds me those racist Israelis say the Ahmadi-Nejad looks like chimpanzee. Good, Justpassingby, only show your hatred toward us.

  6. MahaneYehude1
    January 25, 2014, 1:50 pm

    But even worse was this moment at the Western Wall, in occupied East Jerusalem:

    I don’t understand what is the meaning of “worse” in this context. The Western Wall is one of holiest places of the Jewish people and any formal visitor, including the pope, visits there while he is in Israel. Beside, I don’t understand why Harper is a “clown” only because he sang. Many politicians show their talents before the hosts.

    It seems to me that you are desperate and try to bring up stories from the bottom of the barrel (barrel of tar, not champagne) just to blacken the face of the friends of Israel.

    Welcome Harper, a true friend of Israel.

    • Semiotic Observer
      January 25, 2014, 2:35 pm

      MahaneYehude1: “Welcome Harper, a true friend of Israel.”

      You reminded me of Gideon Levy’s drug addiction analogy. Here’s the partial clip (80 seconds): https://youtube.googleapis.com/v/AQNX07NyoDc&start=226&end=308&version=3&autoplay=1

    • talknic
      January 25, 2014, 2:41 pm

      MahaneYehude1 “Beside, I don’t understand why Harper is a “clown” only because he sang”

      What does a song about Julian Lennon have to do with Israel?

      “Many politicians show their talents before the hosts.”

      Singing flat thru an irrelevant song and playing the piano rather amateurishly does not = talent! The same as being able to add 1 + 2 does not = a mathematician.

      • DICKERSON3870
        January 25, 2014, 4:16 pm

        RE: “What does a song about Julian Lennon have to do with Israel?” ~ talknic

        A MIDWINTER EVENING’S MUSICAL INTERLUDE, proudly brought to you by the makers of the new Über-Xtreme Ziocaine Ultra CR (Controlled Release) Transdermal Patch®: Let The Good Times Roll!™

        . . . You can shine your shoes and wear a suit
        You can comb your hair and look quite cute
        You can hide your face behind a smile
        One thing you can’t hide
        Is when you’re crippled inside . . .

        . . . You can judge me by the color of my skin
        You can live a lie until you die
        One thing you cant hide
        Is when youre crippled inside…
        ~ John Lennon

        ● John Lennon: Crippled Inside (1971) [VIDEO, 05:13] – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cx0di2_rWUI

        P.S. The Ziocaine concept was first used on Mondoweiss by “Mooser”.

    • Taxi
      January 25, 2014, 2:50 pm

      Mehane,

      Politics aside…

      Is it not pagan to think of a block of stones as “holy”?

      I don’t mean to offend, but to the neutral eye, what goes on at the Western Wall looks like pagan ritual. I mean, I understand the sentiment of it, and I don’t mind it for what it is, but did you zionist guys have to kill so many people just to get to… well, do what you do over there by an ancient wall?

      Interesting to note though, that when I hear the name ‘The Wailing Wall’ instead of the oft referred to ‘Western Wall’, I find myself feeling sudden empathy for the whole of mankind, for the sheer power of the poetry of the phrase. In other words, when I hear the name ‘The Wailing Wall’, I feel sensitized to universal suffering and fragility. I become momentarily spiritualized, if you like. Maybe… (gulp)… my soul is jewish?

      Who knows, it’s so confusing who’s a jew and who’s not a jew these days?!

      Let me tell you: ‘The Wailing Wall’ aahhhhh ‘The Wailing Wall’. What a lovely, lovely name. Why don’t you use it more often, Mehane?

      Just thought I’d share this with you, my old colonialist friend.

    • Walid
      January 26, 2014, 5:52 am

      Mahane, Harper was there to help fatten you for the final day; are you ready to convert to Jesus when that day arrives?

  7. yrn
    January 25, 2014, 3:08 pm

    Tlaknic
    “Many politicians show their talents before the hosts.”
    At list you have one talent in your family, Rouhani thinks he has a talent = smile

    • talknic
      January 27, 2014, 7:17 pm

      @ yrn “At list you have one talent in your family”

      Being truthful isn’t a talent, it’s an obligation to one’s self. What’s your specialty?

  8. DICKERSON3870
    January 25, 2014, 4:03 pm

    RE: “Canadian pols’ pandering to Israel is even more clownish than US pols, but at least they do it on camera”

    ALSO SEE: “Zionism is part of Canada’s political fabric”, By Yves Engler, The Electronic Intifada, 7 January 2014
    LINK – http://electronicintifada.net/content/zionism-part-canadas-political-fabric/13062

    • Walid
      January 26, 2014, 5:28 am

      No denying that the Israeli presence is felt and manifested by some politicians, but going as far as saying that Zionism is part of Canada’s political fabric is a super stretch. The last time an Israeli was invited to speak at a joint session of Parliament was 25 years ago and it was the only a one and only event for Israel (Chaim Herzog). And Canadians don’t do “standing ovations” over and over; they have too much class for these antics.

      • Walid
        January 26, 2014, 8:17 am

        More on how Zionism in Canada is not part of the political fabric when compared to the US. Jews in the US are 1.7% of the total population, yet they hold 7.3% of the House of Representatives seats and 13% of those of the US Senate, which are 4 times and 7.6 times their national population..

        In Canada where the Jews are 1.1% of the total population, they hold only 1.9% of the House of Commons seats and only 2.8% of those of the Canadian Senate, which is comfortably close to their national population representation.

        What they represent in Canada as part of the political fabric is a heck of a lot less than in the US.

      • DICKERSON3870
        January 27, 2014, 10:20 pm

        Engler’s article mostly deals with Canada’s “Christian Zionists” (like Stephen Harper).

        EXCERPT:

        . . . While the Harper government’s pro-Israel comments are particularly extreme, they are far from unique in Canadian history. For more than a century non-Jewish Canadians have promoted a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

        Similar to Europe, Zionism’s roots in Canada are Christian, not Jewish. Early Canadian support for Zionism was based on the more literal readings of the Bible that flowed out of the Protestant Reformation.

        They were also tied to this country’s status as a dominion of the British Empire, which in the latter half of the nineteenth century began to see Zionism as a potential vehicle to strengthen its geostrategic position in the region. . .

        SOURCE – http://electronicintifada.net/content/zionism-part-canadas-political-fabric/13062

  9. Daniel Rich
    January 26, 2014, 3:43 am

    @ American,

    Q: There is notion among politicans now that they are elected by voters to carry out their personal beliefs and ‘preferences’—they are totally wrong….they are hired to carry out the wishes of their majority constituents.

    R: Sen. Dianne Feinstein doesn’t seem to agree with you: Feinstein: First Amendment is a Special Privilege, Not a Right!

  10. piotr
    January 26, 2014, 8:45 am

    One can envy Canadian politicians. It is so easy to be pro-Israel!

    Harper is praised by all Zionists, while in USA, such a feat would require some heavy lifting. Item: what do you think about negotiations with Iran, war option and the most recent temporary agreement? Harper has “incorrect” positions on all three, and in USA there would be full page newspaper ads, attack TV spots etc.

    Item: Saudi Airlines fly to Canadian airports and Harper not only does not do anything about it, but even does not promise to do something about it, or even he does not say that he regrets that fact. I have no idea why it would ever bother anyone, but somehow it bothers mayor of New York exactly at the time when he is putting dots on i’s and crossing t’s in his pro-Israeli position exhibited to “members of organized Jewish community” (a glatt kosher name for the Lobby).

    ======

    On another topic: for a democracy to function, elected politicians should be free to pander to any beliefs they see fit, with reasonable exception like getting paid by those interest in an illegal way. However, exactly because of that the discussion of their biases should be free from intimidation, and this is what happens all to often in USA (I do not know about Canada).

Leave a Reply