The embarrassing love-fest between Harper and Netanyahu might seem a little strange, but one should keep in mind that these two have something very much in common. They are both under deep suspicion of being incredible liars on a national and international scale. Although Netanyahu may be winning the international competition in that area and simply sees Harper as an amateur and a useful idiot.
Harper's assertion that any and all criticism of Israel is antisemitism is, of course, based on the fact that about the only thing he knows of Israel is the highly sanitized Netanyahu version of everything. The other stuff he neither knows nor is he possessed of the requisite curiosity expected of a critical-thinking junior statesman. Harper's pronouncement has been fed to him: by his own rapture-seeking religious head; by his various accompanying rabbinical plants; by his political predecessor and reality-challenged, Stockwell Day; and quite clearly, Netanyahu himself. And let's not mince words here. The danger in Harper's pronouncement should in no way be minimized because what he's actually saying is that any criticism of Netanyahu's unacceptable behaviour is transmuted to mean criticism of the nation-state of Israel and then corrupted to mean criticism of the all Israelis onward to become Hitlerite antisemitism. It's how Harper thinks and he's demonstrated it at home when he loudly labels his own detractors as "un-Canadian".
So, if you were to call Netanyahu an asshole, (which he is), Harper simplifies the argument by making you "officially" the hater of all things Jewish ... thus, one of Harper's enemies.
Now, let's take a look at a situation of Netanyahu's own making. It's called Firing Zone 918. When Gerald Caplan referred to the treatment of the residents of Hebron by the Israeli Defence Force executing Netanyahu's orders he wrote this:
... the small Palestinian city of Hebron, just south of Jerusalem, where fewer than a thousand Israeli extremists, protected by the might of the Israeli army, have been allowed to make life a misery for the city’s 170,000 Palestinians. Hebron is a shameful development that needs to be seen to be believed, and even then it’s barely believable.That isn't the half of it. The residents of the South Hebron Hills, in the Israeli-occupied west bank is now a hell hole. People who have lived as nomadic tent-dwellers and in the caves of the hills for generations going back two centuries are being expelled. The IDF declared 30,000 acres of private farmland a military training area and has been in a legal fight with the Israeli Supreme Court since 1999 - the High Court agreeing with Palestinian residents that the IDF has no right to expel them.
So what Netanyahu approved methods are used to get them to move? How about flashbangs tossed into the family dwellings of farmers. Israeli settlement, which Netanyahu accelerated, has brought evictions and increased harassment. If the long-time Arab residents complain to the civil authorities of illegal settlements and trespass, the IDF raids them - the Arabs; not the Israeli settlers. Whole olive groves have been ripped out by the roots.
It is, by any descriptor, an ethnic expulsion. This despite the fact that the UN recognized Israeli occupation means that the residents are defined as "protected persons" under the Fourth Geneva Convention and their removal is illegal.
So, Harper can bluster on all he likes. Benjamin Netanyahu is an asshole who Nicolas Sarkozy correctly labelled a liar and whose illegal actions on the west bank earned him this.
Harper might remember, having labelled a wide swath of people who simply expect the Israeli government to behave like a responsible member of the global community as antisemitic, that he doesn't really need any more enemies. The one's he's already made are patiently awaiting his return. And we still want to know what he knew and when he knew it.
Added: Bene Diction has looked at the list of religious "leaders" accompanying Harper and makes an interesting observation.
I don’t see Catholic, Methodist, United, Anglican, Lutheran, Mennonite, Presbyterian, and moderate Baptist delegates.Nope.