Canadian PM Stephen Harper
Photo: Reuters

Canadian MP: Support for Israel may spark anti-Semitism

Opposition says Harper's staunch pro-Israel stance could sway Canadian opinion in opposite direction

Canadian Opposition members are claiming that the country's conservative government may be sparking a rise in anti-Semitism with its pro-Israel policies, the Globe and Mail reported Wednesday.


The Opposition is accusing Prime Minister Stephen Harper of a one-sided stance and of viewing the situation in the Middle East in "black and white" terms.


MP Anita Neville, co-chair of Liberal Parliamentarians for Israel, says she fears the Harper government is overshooting its mark with its staunch support for Jerusalem, and that this could elicit an anti-Israeli response from Canadians.


In its most recent pro-Israeli move, Canada has withdrawn support for Kairos, a Christian organization critical of Israel.


“I appreciate the support of the Jewish community, unequivocally I appreciate the support of Israel. But by making it frequently into a black-and white-issue, they're setting it up as a wedge. And they're also setting it up so that people who have been long-time strong supporters of Israel are questioning issues like the de-funding of Kairos,” Neville told reporters.


She also told Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, who has recently promoted bills against anti-Semitism, that the government's policies could lead to “anti-Semitic response”.


However, Kenney insists that Harper will not shy away from defunding organizations that promote hatred.


“All I get is praise for Canada's efforts to deal with these sometimes difficult issues, and not to sweep them under the carpet,” he said.


Neville says the defunding of Kairos could cause those in favour of the organization's work to accuse the Jews of conspiring to bankrupt it.


Harper is well-known for his strong support for Israel. During the Second Lebanon War he backed the IDF's efforts against Hezbollah, thereby drawing criticism from many Liberal politicians in Canada.


פרסום ראשון: 02.10.10, 17:02
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