The Canadian prime minister stressed that while there is room for fair criticism against the Israeli government, Canada is obligated to come to the Jewish state's defense when it is attacked by others.
"And like any free country Israel subjects itself to such criticism, healthy, necessary, democratic debate," he said. "But when Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack, is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand."
Harper said Canada must oppose demonization, double standards and de-legitimization.
"Not just because it is the right thing to do, but because history shows us, and the ideology of the anti-Israel mob tell 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," he said.
Harper with Netanyahu. 'Morally obligated to take a stand' (Photo: Reuters)
"Whether it is at the United Nations or any other international forum, the easiest thing to do is simply to just get along and go along with this anti-Israel rhetoric, to pretend it is just about being even-handed, and to excuse oneself with the label of honest broker," Harper added.
The Canadian prime minister suggested that this was the reason his country lost the recent vote for a temporary Security Council seat, saying "I have the bruises to show for it."
Harper stated in his speech that "as long as I am prime minister… Canada will take that stand, whatever the cost."
In his speech, the Canadian prime minister warned that anti-Semitism was on the rise worldwide, including in universities in his own country.
"We must be relentless in exposing this new anti-Semitism for what it is," Harper concluded.
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