Powered by WebAds

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Best speech of the day: Stephen Harper on anti-Semitism and Israel

The best speech of the day on Monday was not delivered at the Jewish Federations General Assembly in New Orleans. It was delivered in Ottawa, Ontario by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Parliament Hill to a gathering of international parliamentarians and experts attending a conference on combating anti-Semitism.

Here's the part on anti-Semitism (Hat Tip: NY Nana) and then I have a video of the part on Israel.
Two weeks ago I visited Ukraine for the first time. At the killing grounds of Babyn Yar, I knew I was standing in a place where evil – evil at its most cruel, obscene, and grotesque – had been unleashed. But while evil of this magnitude may be unfathomable, it is nonetheless a fact.

It is a fact of history. And it is a fact of our nature – that humans can choose to be inhuman. This is the paradox of freedom. That awesome power, that grave responsibility – to choose between good and evil.

Let us not forget that even in the darkest hours of the Holocaust, men were free to choose good. And some did. That is the eternal witness of the Righteous Among the Nations.

And let us not forget that even now, there are those who would choose evil, and would launch another Holocaust, if left unchecked. That is the challenge before us today.

In response to this resurgence of moral ambivalence on these issues, we must speak clearly.

Remembering the Holocaust is not merely an act of historical recognition. It must also be an understanding and an undertaking. An understanding that the same threats exist today. And an undertaking of a solemn responsibility to fight those threats.

Jews today in many parts of the world and many different settings are increasingly subjected to vandalism, threats, slurs, and just plain, old-fashioned lies.

Let me draw your attention to some particularly disturbing trends.

Anti-Semitism has gained a place at our universities, where at times it is not the mob who are removed, but the Jewish students under attack. And, under the shadow of a hateful ideology with global ambitions, one which targets the Jewish homeland as a scapegoat, Jews are savagely attacked around the world – such as, most appallingly, in Mumbai in 2008. [How's that for a swipe at Obama who skipped Chabad House? CiJ].

We have seen all this before. And we have no excuse to be complacent. In fact we have a duty to take action. And for all of us, that starts at home.

In Canada, we have taken a number of steps to assess and combat anti-Semitism in our own country. But of course we must also combat anti-Semitism beyond our borders, - an evolving, global phenomenon. And we must recognize, that while its substance is as crude as ever, its method is now more sophisticated.

Harnessing disparate anti-Semitic, anti-American and anti-Western ideologies, it targets the Jewish people by targeting the Jewish homeland, Israel, as the source of injustice and conflict in the world, and uses, perversely, the language of human rights to do so.

We must be relentless in exposing this new anti-Semitism for what it is. Of course, like any country, Israel may be subjected to fair criticism. And like any free country, Israel subjects itself to such criticism – healthy, necessary, democratic debate.
Now, let's go to the videotape.

If only Canada with this guy in charge were more powerful on the international scene. He's great.

Labels: , , ,


At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is why I had hoped that, despite the odds, Canada would get that temporary seat on the Security Council.

At 7:00 PM, Blogger Lois Koenig said...

Thanks for the hat tip, Carl. PM Harper is a true friend of Israel and the Jews. Knowing that it would cause Canada to lose a seat in the Security Council (feh), he chose to stand up for Israel. If only we could have a president as caring and decent as PM Harper; if only.


Post a Comment

<< Home