Haprer and Israel – Best Friends Forever

An Arab required a heart transplant, but prior to the surgery the doctors needed to store his blood type just in case the need arose.  Because the gentleman had a rare type of blood, it couldn’t be found locally. So the call went out to a number of countries. Finally, a Jew was located who had the same rare blood type and was willing to donate some to the man.  After the surgery, the Arab sent the Jew a thank-you card along with an expensive Swiss diamond watch and a new Rolls Royce car – all as a token of his appreciation. Unfortunately, the Arab had to go through corrective surgery.  So his doctors once again called upon the Jew who was more than happy to re-donate his blood.  After the second surgery, the Arab sent the Jew a thank-you card and a box of chocolates.  The Jew was shocked to see that this time the Arab did not acknowledge his kind gesture anywhere near the extent he had done so before.  Thus the Jew phoned the Arab and asked him why he had expressed his appreciation in a far less generous  manner this time. And the Arab simply replied: “You must remember my dear friend, now I have Jewish blood!”

Today, there are many in the international community asking, “Does Canada’s Gentile Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, have Jewish blood flowing through his veins?”  This all after he made one of the great modern speeches in support of the right of the Jews to exist as a people and of the right of Israel to exist as a nation.

Now if you follow politics, you know that Israel has no greater friend in the world than our own Prime Minister.  Ever since Stephen Harper became leader of this country  in 2006, he has often stood against the world, and especially against American President Barak Obama, when it comes to current middle-eastern policy which Harper views as generally anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic.
And all this is not for any political gain.  For instance, inside Canada, only 10 of the 308 electoral districts have enough Jewish voters to make any difference at the polls.  And across this land, Arab voters outnumber Jewish voters by a 3 to 1 margin.  As a mater of fact, although the Conservatives got 52% of the Jewish vote in the last election, they got just 12% of the Arab vote.  Outside Canada, there is no question that Ottawa’s unflinching loyalty to Jerusalem cost this nation a seat on the ten-member United Nations Security Council and the great international influence that comes with it.  Also, the United Nations. is now considering relocating their international aid office here in Canada to other countries where there is  a more “balanced” view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But none of this has diminished Mr. Harper’s support of the Jewish State and they’ve replied in kind.  When one diplomat was asked how the PM could be expected to be treated in his visit to Israel, the response was, “How does Papal sound?”  Another said, “He’s viewed there like a rock-star.”  The Jerusalem Post headlined on their front page, “Our Man In North America.” So when the plane from Canada set down in Tel Aviv, the red carpet (normally only used for kings and presidents) was rolled out – complete with a full honour guard, trumpets blaring, and a long line of dignitaries.

And this was just the beginning of the welcome.  There was a private supper for Mr. and Mrs. Harper hosted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, – followed by a VIP reception consisting of a who’s who of Israel.  There was a journey up to the Galilee to break the ribbon for the Stephen J. Harper  Bird Sanctuary.  There was a visit to the wailing wall where even the orthodox Jews stopped their praying and applauded the Canadian Prime Minister.  There was a trip back to Tel Aviv to be given an honorary doctorate by Tel Aviv University.  And the ultimate honour of being the only Prime Minister of Canada to ever be invited to address the Knesset. Now all of this hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Palestinian Arabs.  In the territories there are posters of Mr. Harper’s head super-imposed on the bodies of dogs with the caption, “Shame On You.”  And Stephen Harper became the first foreign leader invited to speak at the Knesset to have members walk out (the two Arab representatives) during his speech.

But from where does this deep love of Israel come?  Undoubtedly, some of it has to do with being Canada’s first evangelical (Christian Missionary and Alliance) Prime Minister in fifty years.  However, it mostly exists because of his father, John Harper.  John was a teetotaling Presbyterian accountant who raised his family in the Leeside area of Toronto.  Now, in that part of the city were many Jews who were survivors of the Holocaust, a number for whom he did bookkeeping.  Their heart-breaking stories greatly touched the father and as a dad he passionately communicated these accounts to young Stephen.  The PM would later share in interviews that the greatest influence  in his life was and still is his father.  Thus it was as his old dad lay dying, he asked his now adult son to swear to him, that he would never forget what the Jews had gone through and would always stand up for them. So the PM  went to the Promised Land and delivered on that promise.