Friday, May 27, 2011

Canada's Pro-Israel Muscles Are Flexed At the G8 Summit

     I cannot be happier with how Prime Minister Harper is dealing with issues regarding Israel and the Middle East at the G8 summit in Deauville, France. From the Harper Governments staunch support of Israel to its tepid support for the fledgling Middle Eastern democracies, the Conservative Government is showing that it cares mightily about security in the region.

     For example, it has been reported by Reuters, the Montreal Gazette, and the Globe and Mail, that Canada was influential in making sure that the statement on the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians was not worded in a way as to give credence to President Obama's recent declaration  urging Israel to go back to its 1967 borders. Though Harper has not come out directly and stated that the Canadian contingent was directly involved in this change, Reuters claims to have seen diplomatic cables indicating otherwise. Thus, if this is the case, bravo to Harper.

     Additionally, I am impressed with the Harper Governments insistence to not give direct aid to the fledgling democracies of Tunisia and Egypt, and instead go through multilateral organizations like the IMF and the World Bank. Contrast this with what France is doing by providing $1 million directly to the region. Why do I find this a good move? Because though we in the West might like to think of any sort of democracy as a good thing, sometimes it fails in its application - example, the terrorist organization Hamas winning elections in the Gaza strip. Egypt and Tunisia need to make sure that they elect governments that are not puppets of radical Islam but instead elect governments that protect minorities, ensure religious freedom, freedom of the press, and respect for the rule of law. That is the only way that these fledgling democracies will succeed in the long run, and hence the international community must hold off on giving aid to these governments until it is certain that freedom is ensured. Thus, I applaud Harper for making it known that Canada will not be giving direct aid to these nations, and instead will be channeling any money through the IMF and WB.

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