Tuesday, 20 December 2011

I congratulate our Honourable Prime Minister Stephen Harper


I congratulate our Honourable Prime Minister Stephen Harper for the courageous stand he is taking since he took office in 2006. Please see letter to Honourable Prime Minister Stephen Harper by David Harris, Executive Director, American Jewish Committee (AJC) and Senior Associate, St. Antony's College, Oxford University, assesses challenges to Jewish security worldwide.  Here’ an excerpt: 
When Israel responded to the killing and kidnapping of its soldiers on the Lebanese border by targeting Hezbollah, Stephen Harper spoke up for Israel’s right to defend itself, citing Hezbollah as responsible for the violence and asserting that the terrorist group sought Israel’s destruction.
In the same year, the 53 French-speaking countries known as the Francophonie met, Canada vetoed language to condemn Israeli violence against civilians in Lebanon because it failed to mention Israeli civilians targeted by Hezbollah. You stated: “The Francophonie cannot recognize victims according to their nationality. Recognize the victims of Lebanon and the victims of Israel.”

In 2008, during a radio interview on the eve of Israel’s 60th anniversary, Stephen Harper spoke with characteristic clarity:
“What I see happening in some circles is an anti-Israel sentiment, really just a thinly disguised veil for good old-fashioned anti-Semitism, which I think is completely unacceptable. We learned in the Second World War that those who would hate and destroy the Jewish people would ultimately hate and destroy the rest of us as well, and the same holds today.”
When, a few months later, terrorists attacked a Jewish center in Mumbai, Stephan Harper described the murder of six people, including the rabbi and his pregnant wife, as “affronts to the values that unite all civilized people.” When a new rabbi was quickly installed, you declared that the Jewish people will “never bow to violence and hatred.”
In January 2009, when the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council called on Israel to stop its military operation in Gaza, Canada alone voted against. (Note: The United States was not on the Council at the time.)  Stephen Harper representative explained: “It was regretful that the current draft resolution did not condemn the rocket attacks on Israeli civilians.”
That spring, when the UN planned to convene the Durban II conference in Geneva, a follow-up to the anti-Israel hatefest of 2001, Stephen Harper were the first to declare that Canada would not attend. And now, as Durban III approaches this September, you have again taken the same position.
When, in the fall of 2009, the UN General Assembly endorsed the infamous Goldstone Report, Canada was one of only 18 countries that voted against, while 114 were in favor and 44, including, notably, France and the United Kingdom, abstained.
The next year, when Canada lost a bid for a rotating seat on the UN Security Council, Stephen Harper attributed the result to Ottawa’s pro-Israel stance. You declared that, if this were the price to pay for supporting a friend, you were willing to pay it. As a Winnipeg newspaper editorialized, “We don’t have a seat because we didn’t dance to the UN’s hypocritical tunes.”
 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 stance.... I have the bruises to show for it, that whether it is at the UN 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”.... There are, after all, a lot more votes – a lot more – in being anti-Israel than in taking a stand. But, as long as I am prime minister, whether it is at the UN or the Francophonie or anywhere else, Canada will take that stand, whatever the cost. 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 a threat to all of us.

And when the G8 leaders met in France a few days ago, you again bucked the trend. Drawing from President Obama’s May 19th speech, the final communiqué’s draft language called on Israelis and Palestinians to begin talks on the basis of the 1967 lines, with mutually-agreed territorial swaps. You, however, pointed out that President Obama’s speech touched on other critical elements as well, including recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and Palestine as a non-militarized state. Therefore, it was inappropriate to “cherry pick,” as Stephen Harper successfully insisted, selected elements of the president’s speech for the G8 statement.

"Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for demonstrating that, when it comes to the Middle East, “Moral courage and a hankering to learn the truth” aren’t “on vacation” in Ottawa."

I wish to thank also Honourable Irwin Cotler, Former Liberal party’s Special Counsel on Human Rights and International Justice and Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice of Canada, for calling on Canada to take action under the U.N. Charter to have Iran called to account for its violation of the Convention.  As he point out, “Canada not only have a right to invoke the Convention to prevent genocide but also are under an obligation to do so. Article 8 of the Convention reads: Any Contracting Party may call upon the competent organs of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3.”



Irwin Cotler also points out that the making of genocide consists not only of the machinery of death but also the state sponsorship of incitement to hatred, which is forbidden by the Convention. Mr. Cotler writes, “As international tribunals have recognized and affirmed, the Holocaust did not begin in the gas chambers; it began with words. These are the chilling facts of history.”

God bless Israel, and God bless Canada.




Do you understand now why Canada is so blessed?  You want God's blessing...all you have to do is to accept His Son Jesus and bless Israel.

Please visit other commentary on the above subject 


Quartet's Road Map for War
Caliphate vs. Western Democracy

Israel is proof that God exist

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Newt Gingrich and the "Invented" Palestinian People

by Daniel Pipes

December 10, 2011
http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2011/12/newt-gingrich-and-the-invented-palestinian-people
The former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and current Republican presidential candidate said yesterdaythat "there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. We have invented the Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs and are historically part of the Arab people, and they had the chance to go many places."
Everyone from the PLO to a Mitt Romney spokesman jumped on Gingrich for this assertion, but he happens to be absolutely correct: no Arabic-speaking Muslims identified themselves as "Palestinian" until 1920, when, in rapid order this appellation and identity was adopted by the Muslim Arabs living in the British mandate of Palestine.
For details, see a long article of mine from 1989 on the topic or a short one from 2000. (December 10, 2011)

The Year the Arabs Discovered Palestine {Long version]

by Daniel Pipes
Middle East Review
Summer 1989
http://www.danielpipes.org/8025/the-year-the-arabs-discovered-palestine
Judging from news reports, one might think that Palestinian nationalism has been active as long as Jews and Arabs have been living at the eastern edge of the Mediterra­nean Sea. And as Yasir 'Arafat rides high since his declaration of a Palestinian state, there is an understandable tendency in the West to accept at face value his insistence that the Palestinians have always sought an independent Palestinian state. In fact, this is far from the truth.
The idea of an Arab state resting between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is, rather, a twentieth-century concept. In­deed, its origins can be traced with surpris­ing precision to a single year — 1920. In January 1920, Palestinian nationalism hard­ly existed; by December of that critical year, it had been born.
The events of 1920 encapsulate the current successes and tribulations of the Palestinian movement. They foreshadow some abiding themes, such as the potential for rapid change and the major role of the Western powers. They also provide insight into the most widely supported but possibly the least successful nationalist cause of this century.

Early 1920: The Heyday of Pan-Syrianism

Palestinian nationalism cannot be age-old. To begin with, nationalism itself origi­nated only in late eighteenth-century Eu­rope, and took hold among the Muslims even more recently. Until the early years of this century, the ancestors of today's Pales­tinians had thought of themselves mainly in terms of religion. Islam emphasized bonds between fellow-believers, allowing little scope for territorially-bound loyalties among Muslims. Like it or not, adherents of other religions also found themselves ar­rayed along religious lines. Coreligionists shared strong bonds, but they had few ties outside their own community. Religious lines became residence lines; except for spe­cific commercial or political purposes, little intermingling took place. A sense of com­mon political identity was entirely lacking. In addition to religious ties, loyalties were tied primarily to family; then came other genealogical relations, as well as some eth­nic, regional, linguistic, and class bonds.
When nationalism reached the Middle East from Europe, it captivated Middle Easterners as much as it did other peoples. The dream of governments embodying the spirit of their people was utterly alien, to be sure, but it excited many. The difficulty in the Middle East, as in most places, was exactly how to apply the national ideal. Where would the boundaries be placed? Did the Maronite Christians constitute a nation of their own? Did the Christians of the Levant? The Syrians? The Arabs? The Mus­lims? In the early years of this century, theorists took each of these peoples as the basis for grandiose plans for their favorite nation.
But not a single writer imagined a Pales­tinian nation, and for good reason. Palestine had always been, and at that time remained, a Jewish and Christian concept, utterly for­eign to the Muslims. Eretz Yisrael and Terra Sancta have no analogue in Islam. Muslims look to the Hijaz, not Palestine, for their most sacred landmarks. Further, there has never been an independent state in Palestine ruled by Muslims; such states that were brought into existence were ruled either by Jews or Christians.
Muslim distaste for the very notion of Palestine was confirmed in April 1920, when the British authorities carved out a Palestinian entity. The Muslims' response was one of extreme suspicion. They saw the delineation of this territory as a victory for the Zionists; in their more paranoid moments, they even thought it reflected linger­ing Crusader impulses among the British. The Zionists, by contrast, rejoiced at the formal defining of a Palestine, correctly seeing it as a major step on the road to Theodor Herzl's Judenstaat. (In other words, the term "Palestine," which today symbolizes the Arab rejection of Israel, served the Jews not long ago as the symbol of Jewish nationalism.)
This point cannot be overemphasized. Palestine was brought into existence by Brit­ish imperial authorities, not by Arabs; fur­ther, Muslims felt defeated by the British carving out of a distinct Palestinian entity. I know of no Palestinian endorsing this act when it took place in 1920. To the contrary, every recorded opinion suggests intense opposition.
What, then, was the objective of the Arabs living between the Jordan and the Mediterranean? What political unit did they endorse? To the extent that there was any proto-national unit to the east of the Mediter­ranean Sea, it was not called Palestine but Sham, the historic region of Syria which included the modern states of Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan. This choice reflected a basic fact about the Levant, now often forgotten: Sham, usually translated as "Greater Syria," was a truly age-old ecolo­gical and cultural (but not political) unit.
Like Egypt, Arabia, Yemen, and the other large traditional units of the Middle East, it had geographic boundaries and ecological characteristics which made it distinct from adjoining areas. It constituted the western part of the Fertile Crescent, a dry region that supports life when—and only when—tended with great care. Residents of this area share a physical typology and an extended family structure. They speak Arabic with a distinctive lilt and prepare foods in a similar fashion. Just after World War I, a meeting of Arabs called for a united Syria on the basis that "the people speak Arabic; they are intermarried and have many links of kin­ship; and commerce has for ages moved freely between them."
Even so, Pan-Syrian sentiment was ex­tremely weak before World War II; Greater Syria was, after all, only a proto-nationalist unit. Europeans and Westernized Syrians often remarked on the absence of national solidarity. Testimony on this subject is unan­imous. The well-informed author of a Brit­ish travel guide to Greater Syria noted in the mid-nineteenth century that "patriotism is unknown. There is not a man in the country, whether Turk or Arab, Mohammedan or Christian, who would give a para [penny] to save the empire from ruin; that is, if he be not in government pay ... The patriotism of the Syrian is confined to the four walls of his own house; anything beyond them does not concern him." Gertrude Bell, a knowl­edgeable British observer, wrote in 1907 that "Syria is merely a geographical term corre­sponding to no national sentiment in the breasts of the inhabitants." K.T. Khaïrallah noted in 1912 that "Syrian society did not exist in the past. There was nothing but distinct and often hostile groups....Society was based on a despotism of brutal force modeled on that of the ruler."
By the end of World War I in November 1918, however, the notion of a Syrian nation had made considerable headway among the Arabs of Palestine. They agreed almost unanimously on the existence of a Syrian nation. With few exceptions, they identified with the Syrian Arab government in Damascus, headed by Prince Faysal, a member of the Hashemite family. Palestinian enthusiasm for Pan-Syrian unity steadily increased through mid-1920.
There is ample evidence for this enthusi­asm. Three major Palestinian organizations propounded Pan-Syrian ideas in the imme­diate aftermath of World War I: the Arab Club, the Literary Club, and the Muslim-Christian Association. (Note that none of these names makes any mention of Palestine.) The first two groups went furthest, calling outright for unity with Syria under Faysal. Even the Muslim-Christian Associa­tion, an organization of traditional leaders — men who would expect to rule if Palestine became independent — demanded incor­poration in Greater Syria.
The Muslim-Christian Association held a congress in January-February 1919 to draw up demands to submit to the Paris Peace Conference. Representatives of fourteen Palestinian cities and towns presented a peti­tion calling for Southern Syria to be "insep­arable from the independent Arab Syrian government." The congress declared Pal­estine "nothing but part of Arab Syria and it has never been separated from it at any stage." The delegates saw Palestine tied to Syria by "national, religious, linguistic, moral, economic, and geographic bonds." On the basis of this view, they called for a Palestine that would remain "undetached from the independent Arab Syrian Government."
Musa Kazim al-Husayni, head of the Jerusalem Town Council (in effect, mayor) told a Zionist interlocutor in October 1919: "We demand no separation from Syria." According to Ahmad ash-Shuqayri (the man who headed the PLO in the 1960s), the ubiquitous slogan of 1918-19 was "Unity, Unity, From the Taurus [Mountains] to Rafah [in Gaza], Unity, Unity." The same appeal echoed from all corners. A singer in Ramla encouraged her "enraptured listeners" to join Faysal's forces. From San Salvador, of all places, a protest in March 1919 went out from the "Syrian Palestin­ians" to international leaders calling for "no separation between Syria and Palestine" and expressing hope that "Syria and Pal­estine remain united." The Salvadorans de­clared: "We trust that if Syria and Palestine remain united, we will never be enslaved by the Jewish yoke."
A congress of Palestinians met in Damascus in February 1920 and strongly advocated Pan-Syrian unity. One speaker suggested that Palestine stood in the same relationship to Syria as Alsace-Lorraine did to France. According to a contemporary newspaper report,
'Izzat Darwaza spoke about Palestine and [the need for] Syrian unity, then he submit­ted a statement for general opinion. No one disagreed with him. The discussion pro­ceeded further on this matter; some partici­pants wanted not to mention Palestine but to use the expression Greater Syria for all the regions of Syria, and they were applauded.
The Congress passed four resolutions. The first of them noted that "it never oc­curred to the peoples of Northern and Coast­al Syria that Southern Syria (or Palestine) is anything but a part of Syria." The second called for an economic boycott of the Zion­ists in "all three parts of Syria" (meaning the whole of Greater Syria). The third and fourth resolutions called for Palestine "not to be divided from Syria" and for "the independence of Syria within its natural borders."
The crowning of Faysal as King of Syria in March 1920 elicited strong Pan-Syrian reactions among the Arabs of Palestine. The British military governor of Palestine re­ceived a petition (bearing Amin al­-Husayni's signature) that demanded the eradication of borders with Syria and the inclusion of Palestine in a Syrian union. Musa Kazim al-Husayni broke his promise not to engage in politics and spoke from the municipality building's balcony in praise of Faysal. 'Arif al-'Arif led a mass demonstra­tion in Jerusalem in which the participants carried pictures of Faysal and called for unity with Syria.
Then, in April, came the sobering news from San Remo that the British and French governments had decided to separate Pal­estine from Syria and to keep both territories under their control. This precipitated pro­tests from all parts of Palestine. New calls went out for the independence of a united Syria stretching from Turkey to the Sinai.
These and many other indications point to two indisputable facts: until July 1920, the Palestinian goal was to join in a union with Syria, while the aspiration of an independent Palestinian state barely existed. Matters changed quickly in the next few months, however.

Late 1920: The Rise of Palestinian Nationalism

The French conquered Damascus and scuttled the Arab kingdom ruled over by Faysal in July 1920. One result was that Syrians came to devote almost all their atten­tion to the issue of French rule, leaving very little time or concern for Palestine. Another was that, for Palestinians, the attractiveness of a Syrian connection faded away. Why be joined to Damascus, the Palestinians felt, if this meant rule by Paris? Palestinian leaders came to recognize that they were on their own against the British and the Zionists. From that point on, they sought to establish an autonomous Arab government in Pal­estine which would be ruled by themselves, not by politicians in Damascus. Herein lay the origins of Palestinian nationalism.
This reorientation was made formal by the Third Palestinian Congress, meeting in December 1920. Delegates at the Congress decided to drop the appellation Southern Syria and to stop demanding the joining of Palestine with Syria. At this moment, Pal­estine became acceptable to the Muslims; and it would not be long before they would actually find it appealing.
Subsequent meetings confirmed this new identity. When the Syrian Congress (the main exile organization dedicated to build­ing Greater Syria) met in August 1921, Pal­estinians would no longer endorse the unity of Greater Syria. They even compelled the organization to rename itself The Syro-­Palestinian Congress and to issue a state­ment calling for the "independence of Syria and of Palestine." A year later, Palestin­ians withdrew from this Congress.
This rapid switch suggests that, despite the apparent solidity of Palestinian interest in union with Syria, the sentiment was al­ways precarious. In large part, this has to do with the two sides, Syrian and Palestinian, having had different expectations. Prince Faysal, who, along with many Syrians in 1918-20, saw the Zionists as a less pressing danger than the Maronites of Lebanon, was willing to work with the Jews if they could help him achieve his Greater Syrian goal. In January 1919, for example, he reached an agreement with the Zionists. In return for Faysal's promise "to encourage and stimu­late immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale," he won Zionist backing for his campaign against the French. (But this agreement was contingent on Britain keep­ing France out of Syria; and since this was not done, the accord did not take effect.) Soon after, in a letter to Felix Frankfurter, Faysal noted that "there is room in Syria for both of us."
Palestinian leaders, in contrast, saw Zion­ists as the pre-eminent problem. In their eyes, Faysal's standing depended almost ex­clusively on his ability to help them against the Zionists. In late 1918, the Palestinians considered Faysal (in the words of a French diplomat) the only Arab leader "capable of resisting the Jewish flood" into Palestine. Faysal's subsequent willingness to deal with the Zionists diminished Palestinian backing for him.
This divergence in outlook created ten­sions between Syrian and Palestinian leaders from the moment World War I ended in November 1918. Signs of disaffection were apparent within three months of Faysal's arrival in Damascus, and they grew with time. Already in early 1919, the Muslim-Christian Association resolved that Pal­estine "should be part of Southern Syria, provided the latter is not under foreign con­trol." The Association's Jerusalem branch went farther, calling for an independent gov­ernment in Palestine to be only "politically associated" with Syria. It authorized Faysal "to represent Palestine and defend it at the Paris Conference," on the understanding that Palestine would enjoy full autonomy within a Syrian union. And while 'Arif Pasha ad-Dajjani, president of the Muslim-Christian Association, insisted that "Pal­estine or Southern Syria — an integral part of the one and indivisible Syria — must not in any case or for any pretext be de­tached," he also had doubts about rule from Damascus.
To be fair, it must be recorded that argu­ments against connections to Damascus ap­peared in the press as early as 1919. The Arab Club was the first nationalist institu­tion to abandon Faysal's leadership. Despite its name, the newspaper Suriya al-Janubiya ("Southern Syria") led the campaign away from Pan-Syrianism, arguing that Syrians had become too absorbed in their conflict with France to pay enough attention to the Zionist challenge. In January 1920, when Faysal returned empty-handed from his sec­ond trip to Europe, some top Palestinians began to see him as not essential to their cause, an impression reinforced by the lack of Syrian response to the Jerusalem riots of April 1920.
But these strains had only limited impor­tance. Syrian and Palestinian leaders effec­tively minimized their differences until July 1920, for both had an interest in Prince Faysal's success.
What accounts for the extremely rapid collapse of Pan-Syrian sentiment in Pal­estine? Yehoshua Porath, the leading histo­rian of Palestinian nationalism, argues in his 1974 book The Emergence of the Palestinian-Arab National Movement, 1918-1929 that Palestinians supported Pan-­Syrianism only as long as it served them but abandoned it when it no longer had utility. In contrast to Syrians, who tended to see Pan­-Syrianism as an end in itself, he says, Pales­tinians saw it as a means, a weapon in the battle against Zionism; it was weak because it only served ulterior purposes. Being treat­ed as part of Syria had three advantages in the years 1918-20.[xix] A joint Anglo-French declaration of November 1918 promised "to encourage and assist the establishment of native governments and administrations in Syria and Mesopotamia" — not Palestine. This declaration made it desirable for Pal­estine to be seen as part of Syria. Also, associating with the larger Muslim popula­tion of Greater Syria offered a way to over­whelm the Jewish immigrants demographi­cally. And alliance with Faysal gave Pales­tinians a relatively powerful protector.
According to Porath, the French conquest of Damascus caused these advantages to disappear:
Disappointment over the moderation of the Syrians toward Zionism cooled the Pal­estinians' enthusiasm for the idea of Pan-Syrian unity.... The orientation towards Damascus was based less on the growth of nationalism around this area [i.e., Greater Syria] than upon a given political situation. When this situation changed, the foundations of the Pan-Syrian movement collapsed.
All these points are correct, but not the implication that Pan-Syrian nationalism was merely a tactic while Palestinian national­ism appealed to deep sentiments. The re­verse is closer to the truth. Existing sentiments fitted better within Greater Syria than Palestine. Palestinians abandoned Pan-­Syrianism and replaced it with Palestinian separatism for tactical reasons, not out of heartfelt sentiment. Porath himself quotes one Palestinian leader who openly admitted this. Only days after the fall of Faysal's government, Musa Kazim al-Husayni de­clared, "after the recent events in Damascus, we have to effect a complete change in our plans here. Southern Syria no longer exists. We must defend Palestine." Kamil ad-Dajjani explained many years after the event that "the collapse of Faysal's rule in Syria and the disappointment of the hopes which were pinned upon that rule, made Palestinians feel that the orientation toward a Greater Syria bore no fruit." Palestinian nationalism originated not in spontaneous feelings but in calculated poli­tics, and a long time passed before the emotional appeal of this premeditated and novel allegiance matched that of Pan-Syrian nationalism.
In short, the Palestine concept served better than that of Greater Syria. It allowed the Arab leaders of Palestine to speak the same political language as the Zionists and the British. Rather than refer to some out­side source of authority, they could claim sovereignty for themselves. In the process, they evolved from provincial notables into independent actors. Thus, tactical consid­erations caused the rapid rise of Palestinian nationalism.
Ultimately, Palestinian nationalism origi­nated in Zionism; were it not for the exis­tence of another people who saw British Palestine as their national home, the Arabs would have continued to view this area as a province of Greater Syria. Zionism turned Palestine into something worthy in itself; if not for the Jewish aspirations, Sunni Arab attitudes toward Palestine would no doubt have resembled those toward the territory of Transjordan — an indifference only slowly eroded by many years of governmental effort. Palestinian nationalism promised the most direct way to deal with the challenge presented by Zionist settlers — a challenge never directly felt on the East Bank.

Amin al-Husayni

The career of Al-Hajj Muhammad Amin al-Husayni (1895-1974), the long-time mufti of Jerusalem, dramatizes the switch from Pan-Syrianism to Palestinian nationalism.
Husayni began as a partisan of Greater Syria. He wrote sentimentally about ties between Syrians and Palestinians during World War I. When the Hashemites launched the Arab revolt, breaking the Otto­man Empire's four centuries' control over the Levant, Husayni saw this as a more effective way to block the Zionists. As Philip Mattar, a biographer of the mufti, writes: "Since it appeared futile for the Arabs to oppose British rule, Amin believed the only practical approach was to attempt to change the British Balfour policy by organizing mass support for reuniting Syria and Palestine, which would then work to­gether against Zionism."
Husayni therefore deserted the Ottoman army and joined the Hashemites. He then became a leading agent of the Hashemites (an ironic development in light of his later mortal enmity with this family), recruiting about 2,000 military volunteers in 1918 and working actively on Faysal's behalf in 1919. At the Palestinian congress in January-February 1919, Husayni called for unity between Palestine and Syria. A British dip­lomatic report noted that Husayni's activities were directed "in favor of union with Sharifian [i.e., Faysal's] Syria."
Husayni served as president of the Arab Club, which was especially eager for union with Syria. Toward the end of 1919, this group tent a letter to the British military governor of Jerusalem declaring that "Southern Syria forms a part of the United Syria beginning from Taures [and extending to] Rafa, the separation of which we do not tolerate under any circumstances, and we are as well pre­pared to sacrifice ourselves towards its de­fense with all our power."
Returning from Damascus on April 1, 1920, Husayni introduced a new element into an already tense atmosphere in Pal­estine by reporting (wrongly) that the Brit­ish government would be willing to recognize Faysal as ruler of Palestine as well as Syria. This report raised Pan-Syrian ex­pectations to a fever pitch. Then came the Nabi Musa riots in Jerusalem on April 4, when Arab mobs attacked Jews; according to Horace B. Samuel (and the British police report corroborates his account), these dis­turbances were initiated by two young men who shouted "Long live our King — King Feisul." Taysir Jbara, a historian, believes that Amin al-Husayni was one of these two. The police sought Husayni, but he fled to Damascus, where he again worked to spread the influence of King Faysal. Al­though a Palestine court had sentenced Hu­sayni in absentia to ten years in jail, the High Commissioner of Palestine, Sir Her­bert Samuel, pardoned him less than five months after the Jerusalem disturbances had occurred. This permitted Husayni to make his way back to Palestine after the fall of Damascus.
Faysal's defeat caused Husayni, like the other leaders, to change ideologies without missing a beat, turning into an un­bending Palestinian nationalist. He became mufti of Jerusalem in 1921, president of the Supreme Muslim Council in 1922, and pres­ident of the Arab Higher Committee in 1936. Each of these positions gave him new power; by the mid-1930s he had become the out­standing political leader of the Palestinians, the symbol and the bulwark of Palestinian nationalism.

Conclusion

Four major events occurred in 1920. In March, Faysal was crowned king of Syria, raising expectations that Palestine would join his independent state. In April, the British put Palestine on the map, dashing those hopes. In July, French forces captured Damascus, ending the Palestinian tie with Syria. And in December, responding to these events, the Palestinian leadership adopted the goal of an independent Palestin­ian state.
Having thus originated out of political calculus, not spontaneous feelings, Pales­tinian nationalism had to wait for many years to pass before it acquired real force. Still, what Palestinian nationalism lacked by way of natural origin, it soon made up for with passionate identification. How did a premeditated and novel allegiance come to exert so strong an emotional appeal? The logic of need caused Palestinian nationalism to flourish, and it became a popular cause.
So thoroughly has it come to dominate the current scene that its recent and util­itarian origins have been forgotten by all but a handful of scholars. To make matters worse, an informal campaign seems to be underway to suppress the fact that Pan-Syrianism predominated for two critical years. A number of solidly researched aca­demic books of recent years wave this whole phenomenon aside in an effort retro­actively to enhance the stature of the Pales­tinian nationalism of those years.
This rewriting of history serves to empha­size the abiding importance of 1920. A re­view of the events of that year points, first, to the fact that Palestinian nationalism is just one variant of anti-Zionism; in turn, others are always nipping at its own heels. Yasir 'Arafat and his followers can never rest easy, for they always have to contend with not only their Israeli enemy but also their Arab rivals. (Many of them are still based in Damascus.)
Second, 1920 demonstrates the extreme fickleness of the Arabs' nationalist loyalties. Only superficially grounded in nationalist sentiments, they found it easy to bounce from one formulation to another. Palestinian leaders supported the Greater Syria goal so long as it served their purposes; then, after the French capture of Damascus changed the premises, the leadership seamlessly adopted a new approach. During the 1950s, when Gamal Abdel Nasser and Arab nationalism were flying high, many of the Palestinian leaders moved into his camp. This could happen again. Were circum­stances to call for another switch, say, to federation with Jordan, many of those Pales­tinians who now fervently espouse an inde­pendent Palestinian state might take up this new aspiration.
While it is true that the flexibility of 1920 occurred at a moment of special fluidity, and positions have hardened since that date, the Middle East remains the world's most politi­cally volatile area. Major realignments take place almost predictably, about once a dec­ade. Given that today's constellation of forces is unlikely to last into the distant future and that an independent Palestinian state does seem forthcoming, the primacy of Palestinian nationalism could eventually come to an end, perhaps as quickly as it got started.

Sep. 13, 2000 update: I published a summary version of this article today to commemorate the would-be declaration of a Palestinian state.
Related Topics:  HistoryPalestiniansreceive the latest by email: subscribe to daniel pipes' free mailing listThis text may be reposted or forwarded so long as it is presented as an integral whole with complete information provided about its author, date, place of publication, and original URL.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Is There a Second Chance?


Is There a Second Chance?



If you believe as I do that the Bible teaches a rapture of the Church to occur before Daniel's 70th Week begins then you've no doubt wondered what will happen to those among your friends and family who will miss it.  Will they get another chance to be saved? 

Those Who Are Perishing

For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.  The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders,  and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie  and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness (2 Thes. 2:7-12).
Here Paul makes the case that the Church has to be gone before the anti-Christ is officially revealed.  Those who are perishing will believe the lie that He's the one God has sent to rule the world.  Paul taught that God will actually help them come to this false conclusion because they will have refused to believe the truth and be saved. That's why they're perishing.
At first glance this passage appears to say there will be no second chance, that the time for believing the truth that saves us will have ended with the rapture. The Greek word translated refused literally means they did not accept the truth.  It implies that the truth was presented to them and they rejected it.

But this doesn't really put the question to rest.  Do they have to hear the Gospel and consciously reject it to be counted among those who are perishing, or does the failure to give an affirmative response result in rejection by default?  Will everyone left after the rapture be numbered among the perishing, or will there be some who are not?

Without getting into the nuances of the Greek language, let's see if there are any other places in Scripture that can help us find more of the answer. The most logical thing to do is see if we can find any convincing evidence that Gentiles can be saved after the rapture. (I assume you know that many Jews will be saved in the 70th Week because that's one ot the main reasons for it.)

It's true that when Daniel's 70th Week begins God will once again be focused onIsrael. From Daniel 9:24-27 it's easy to see He has unfinished business with them. Some of the things He promised to accomplish through them in verse 24 simply have not been accomplished yet. There hasn't been an end to Israel's rebellion against God, everlasting righteousness hasn't come in, there are 500  prophecies that remain unfulfilled, and the Holy Place has not been anointed. None of these things involve the world at large.  They all concern Daniel's people, the Jews, and Daniel's Holy City,Jerusalem.

What About The Gentiles?

But in our study of Acts 15 we saw that one of the things God is going to do while restoring Israel after the rapture is to provide a way for the remnant of men, including Gentiles, to seek Him (Acts. 15:17).

Evidence that this is true can be found in Rev. 7:9 which describes a multitude of post rapture believers that no one could count, coming from every nation, tribe, people and language and arriving in Heaven.  This tells us that  many of these believers will be gentiles, saved out of Daniel's 70th Week before the Great Tribulation begins.  

Some say this group is the church and place the rapture here, between the 6th and 7thseal judgments, but they can't be right.  In the first place John, the disciple most closely associated with the Church, doesn't recognize them.  But more to the point, their destiny is not the same as the Church's.  They are before the Throne of God, but are not seated there with Jesus like the Church will be (Ephesians 2:6)  They will serve Him day and night in His Temple, but they will not reign with him and are never called either kings or priests.

I believe this great multitude of believers will have come to faith primarily because of the rapture. They will have heard the gospel but, neither accepting or rejecting it, will have put off making a decision until it's too late. The rapture will remove the final obstacle to their conversion, providing confirmation that you and I were right in what we tried to tell them. 

This is evidence of Gentiles being saved after the Rapture.  But before you get too comfortable with this, remember that in order to arrive in heaven they will have had to die on Earth. They'll be some of the first martyrs of the 70th Week. Waiting until after the rapture to be saved will not be like waiting for the next streetcar.  They'll have to endure a lot more to receive a lot less. 

People have wondered how so great a multitude could die so early in the 70th Week, before the anti-Christ gets his world wide government fully stabilized and before he becomes indwelt by Satan. The Bible doesn't say, but I think it could be the result of a back lash against believers following the rapture.

Pagan prophecies all pointing to the same general time tell us the world intuitively knows about the coming judgments.  The rapture will be incontrovertible evidence that God is about ready to come down hard on them.  Retaliaton against God's people because they're mad at Him for actually doing what He said He'll do could be one of the motivational forces behind the mass killings. 

Another one could be the anger many will feel when just as they think they're rid of all the meddling Christians, clearing the way for the utopian life they've dreamed about, a whole new flock will show up to ruin things.  Remember, with the Holy Spirit gone, the restraining influence that's kept evil in check all these years will be gone.  “Kill the infidels” could become the rallying cry of the unsaved world.

(Some New Age teachers say the world is headed for it's final leap of evolution.  It's a spiritual one that will usher in worldwide peace and harmony.  They say born again Christians and Orthodox Jews are holding this up by clinging to the outmoded notion of a single Creator God who rules over all and they will have to taken out of its way. They liken the rapture to the surgical removal of a life threatening cancer from an otherwise healthy body.) 
  
This slaughter of believers will soon be seen as an act of God's mercy because certainly not all the post rapture believers will immediately be put to death.  Others will have years of suffering ahead of them  beginning with horrific natural and supernatural events that poison the air and water and including such an agonizing attack of demonic locusts that men will long for death to release them (Rev. 9:1-6). A third of mankind will die from these judgments  (Rev. 9:18).

Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people.  He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

This one will come right after the mark of the beast is introduced, and will be followed by a warning that taking the mark will result in permanent seperation from God and a guaranteed eternity of suffering (Rev. 14:9-11). The judgments of the Great Tribulation will be so severe that if left to run their course no one would survive.  But for the sake of the elect, the Lord will put an end to them after 3 ½ years.


Remember, the Great Tribulation will not have begun yet. Neither will this be the last post rapture chance for Gentiles to be saved.  Rev. 14:6-7 speaks of another world wide altar call just after the Great Tribulation begins, 

I'm Glad That's Over

Only about half of the post rapture world's population will survive until the end. During the  face-to-face judgments that follow the 2 nd  Coming the Lord will find believers among the survivors, both Jews and Gentiles.  In spite of complete exclusion from even basic levels of society and a never ending fear of capture and death, they will live to stand before Him and receive their reward. 

The parables of Matt. 25 describe this and the Sheep and Goats judgment is exclusively about surviving Gentiles (Matt. 25:31-32).  The ones who have demonstrated their faith by their actions will be welcomed live into the Kingdom. They'll help repopulate the nations of Earth.  Egypt and Assyria are specifically mentioned in Isaiah 19:25, but I believe there will be other Millennial nations too.

Maybe some of your currently unbelieving friends and family will find themselves among one or another of these post rapture groups. If so those who won't be martyred early on will have endured a time you wouldn't want your worst enemy to experience. Jesus said it will be the the most terrible time ever to befall mankind. Please don't adopt a fatalistic attitude about them, and don't settle for post rapture salvation on their behalf.
But if you're beating them over the head with the Gospel, don't do that any more either.  It won't work. Your most effective strategy will be a two-fold one.  Pray for their salvation with the same intensity you would pray for their recovery from a life threatening disease. And show them the benefits of being a believer by letting your unshakeable faith be a beacon of light and a source of hope in this dark and dying world. Nothing else will be as effective. We don't have very much time left so if you haven't begun yet now's the time.  You can almost hear the Footsteps of the Messiah. 10-15-11

Thursday, 13 October 2011

When Satan Blinds, Here's What You Miss


By Joe McKeever
"Your words have stood men on their feet." Job 4:4

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. II Corinthians 4:3-4

It's not just that outsiders to the faith have not been shown the way to eternal life, as though they were sitting by the roadside waiting. It's not simply that the unsaved need to be instructed and helped, as though they were gathered in a celestial waiting room somewhere, eager for us to appear. Neither are the lost blank slates on which we may write Heaven's love-letters to their souls, as though nothing had corrupted their minds or skewed their values.

The unsaved are in serious trouble.

A great many of those without Christ have been blinded by the enemy. Not all, thankfully, but far too many.
Satan has done a number on those left in his care.

Millions of those without Christ look at good and see evil, they hear Truth and call it lies, they get a taste of Heaven and call it hell. If they see Jesus at all, He's the enemy. If they see the gospel, it's propaganda. If they receive a kind act from the Lord's disciples, they grow suspicious and look for ulterior motives.

Some enemy has been messing with millions who are without Christ, and has left them far removed from the childlike way they entered this world. They have been mistaught by those they trusted most, misguided by those sent to instruct them, and miscast as possessors and protectors of truth while they attack the very ones sent to bring them truth.

In the Greek city of Corinth, the Apostle Paul encountered such enemies of the faith. Perhaps they were not normally mean-spirited people, certainly not murderers or thieves or abusers. Their hostility against the people of God and against the Gospel of Jesus could be explained by one thing: Satan had blinded the eyes of their understanding. They were blind to the greatest reality of all, God.

As a result, Paul said in our text, they do not see: a) the Gospel, b) Christ who is the image of God, c) the glory of Christ, d) the gospel of the glory of Christ, and e) the light of that gospel.

None of this is clear to them.

Now, you and I could add to that list. Such people who rant and rave against Christians do not value the church, do not believe in Holy Scriptures, deny that they are sinners in need of a Savior, and even dispute the existence of Satan himself.

But, for the moment, let's focus on Paul's statement here in II Corinthians 4 and analyze it.

In their blindness, they miss the gospel.


The euangelion is "God's good news" for mankind, a wonderful message of Christ's death, burial, and resurrecton, which brings salvation (Romans 1:16).

But to the outsider whose understanding is darkened, whose soul has been fouled up, whose guidance system is malfunctioning, Christ's message is anything but good news.

a) At best, they see it as nice moral teachings. They love to cite the Sermon on the Mount, as though tossing a crumb to Christians.
b) Some will see the gospel as irrelevant. Since we are not sinners, we need no savior, so what's the point?
c) And some will see the gospel as an evil intrusion into their own religion to proselyte their people.

In their blindness, they miss Jesus Christ, the very image of God.


Jesus told His disciples, "He who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). John Bisagno used to say, "Jesus Christ is everything God has to say about Himself."

The Apostle Paul said, "He is the visible image of the invisible God" (Colossians 1:15). Nothing could be clearer.

Reading the New Testament--particularly some of the teachings of Jesus and the latter chapters of Revelation--you become aware of a blurring of distinction of the Father and the Son. This occurs at various other places in Scripture, too. Paul told the Ephesian elders they were to "shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood." Whose blood? God's.

Outsiders with their own agenda against the Christian faith will see Jesus in one of several ways:
--He was a good man and nothing more.
--He was a great prophet, but nothing more.
--He was a fiction, never having existed, a creation of some group somewhere.

In their blindness, they do not see the glory of Christ.


Just before He raised Lazarus from the grave, Jesus promised onlookers that "if you will believe, you will see the glory of God" (John 11:40). They did indeed. And, according to John the Evangelist, "We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).

You may remember that Moses once asked God if he could see God's glory. Knowing a puny man could not take in such a sight without a massive transformer to gentle the effect, God said, "I'll show you my goodness," and did. (Exodus 33:18)

But in Jesus, we see God's glory. And what a glory it is.

Not like what Jesus called "the glory which I had with you before the world was" (John 17:5). Nothing like that kind of radiance and brilliance. The glory of Jesus seen on Earth was more of a purity and divinity, a solid godliness and all-encompassing love, the kind of holiness that draws in the faithful and repulses the rebellious.

That's why no one was ever neutral about Jesus when he walked on earth. His holiness drove His enemies mad at the very time it was pulling in the righteous and hungry in order to bless them with joy and forgiveness.
The glory of Jesus? I can hear a Pharisee saying, "I just couldn't see that."

Exactly.

In their blindness, they miss the gospel of the glory of Christ.


The thing is, this message of good news which is all about Jesus and is ours to share brings glory into the lives of all who hear and believe and receive this Savior.

Look at the blind beggar of Jericho, Bartimaeus, at the end of Luke 18. Before he met Jesus, the man was an eyesore to all who passed him just outside the gates of the city. But, once Jesus touched him and restored his sight, he became another person. He became a productive member of society, a happy citizen, a helpful one (because he could not quit telling people about the Savior), and there was a glory in his life.

Question: Think of some believer you know who walks closely to Christ, whose prayer life is alive, who loves the Word of God and whose days are filled blessing people. Have you noticed there is a glory about them? Maybe not an actual radiance, although sometimes you wonder. But there is such a presence of God that when you leave their presence, you are the one glowing.

I've known several. They are the world's truly beautiful people.

Outsiders? They "just can't see it.

In their blindness, they miss the light of that gospel.


The gospel comes into a home, and it brings light. Even before the family comes to the point of trusting Jesus as Savior and Lord, they know light has come.

The gospel enters a village, and brings light. Here and there, light breaks forth when individuals look toward Heaven and receive Jesus as Savior.

But the hostile outsiders, those who have been indoctrinated against the faith, those blinded by the enemy so that they look at black and call it white, just cannot see it.

There is one prayer we pray for our friends and loved ones who live in their blindness and think they are in the light: "Lord, open their eyes."


That was the prayer of the Prophet Elisha for his servant. The alien army had surrounded the city during the night. When the servant went outside early that morning, he panicked at the sight. "Alas, my master," he said to the prophet. "What shall we do?"

"Do not fear," said the prophet to the frightened man. "For those who are with us are more than those who are with them."

Then, Elisha looked heavenward and said, "Lord, open his eyes. Let him see."

Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (II Kings 6)

We who follow Jesus and encounter the enemies of the gospel must not take their vehemence and attacks personally. They think they're right. But their problem is a little matter of vision. They don't have any. They're blind. So, deal gently with them, and speak truth, and tell God.

After all, we recall an enemy of the faith who was on his way to Syria to arrest Christians and bring to Jerusalem for trial, when God in Heaven decided to open his eyes and save him. The account of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus is one of the Scripture's great stories, told in three places: Acts 9, 22, and 26.

However, we must not miss one thing God did in the process of opening the eyes of Saul: first, He blinded him. (See Acts 9:8-9) Then, a few days later, God opened his eyes.

Some of the Lord's enemies were angry. They listened as Jesus said He had come into the world "that those who do not see may see and those who see may be made blind," and said harshly, "So, how about us? Are we blind also?"

Jesus said, "If you were blind, you would have no sin. But now you say, 'We see.' Therefore, your sin remains." (John 9:39-41

As they walked away scratching their heads, clueless to the enigma the Lord had just laid on them, one could be heard to say, "I just don't see it."

Indeed.



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Friday, 7 October 2011

Canada: First Country to Sign Protocol on Combating Anti-Semitism

Canada: First Country to Sign Protocol on Combating Anti-Semitism
Posted By Stephen Brown On October 7, 2011 @ 12:06 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 20 Comments
As if any further proof was necessary, Canada stepped forward once again and showed the world that it is Israel’s best friend. In taking the field on behalf of the Jewish people this time around, the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper became the first country last week to sign the Ottawa Protocol on Combating Anti-Semitism. (For the full text of the protocol click here.)

“The fact that this important document was crafted in Ottawa is further testimony to Canada’s leadership role in this vital global battle,” said Shimon Fogel of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, adding that the protocol is “groundbreaking” and “will serve as the basis of the renewed international effort against anti-Semitism.”

The protocol, drawn up by international parliamentarians in a series of conferences that began in Ottawa last November, is intended to combat the ongoing, worldwide threat of anti-Semitism. It is a reaffirmation of the “commitment to institute tangible measures” to counter the scourge of anti-Jewish hatred that is often disguised as criticism of Israel. The Ottawa document is meant to plainly distinguish between the two and does so in exemplary fashion
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“The criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be anti-Semitic,” the protocol states. “But singling Israel out for selective condemnation and opprobrium – let alone denying its right to exist or seeking its destruction – is discriminatory and hateful, and not saying so is dishonest.”

 
The Canadian government co-hosted last year’s initial conference along with the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism. The meeting “reaffirmed the London Declaration on Combating Anti-Semitism as a template for fighting anti-Jewish prejudice.” In this spirit, Prime Minister Harper addressed the November gathering and, in plain language not often heard from a politician, especially on this subject, showed his great respect and support for the Jewish state as well as a high level of morality and insight lacking in most other world leaders.

“When Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack, is consistently singled out for condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand,” said Harper. “…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 us all.”

Without directly naming the guilty party, Harper also added “a hateful ideology with global ambitions” is the “one which targets the Jewish homeland as a scapegoat” and is responsible for Jews being “savagely attacked around the world.” Hopefully, someone from the Obama administration was present and taking notes.

The Ottawa Protocol on Combating Anti-Semitism is just the latest manifestation of Harper’s siding with Israel on the international stage. Since coming to power in Ottawa in 2006, the Canadian prime minister and his government have garnered nothing but praise from Jewish organizations and advocates for Israel around the world. His government’s pro-Israeli policies have earned his country the unofficial title of being the Jewish state’s “greatest friend in the world” at a time when Israel is under constant attack internationally and sometimes inside Canada itself.

Harper’s principled stand vis-à-vis Israel, for example, saw Canada become the first country to withdraw from the anti-Semitic, United Nations-sponsored Durban II and Durban III conferences. Also in regard to the disgraceful anti-Israel bias at the UN, Canada was in the forefront of opposing in 2008 the appointment of Richard Falk as the UN’s special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories.

Falk, described as a Jewish American academic, has in the past compared Israel to Nazi Germany, a common and sick theme among Israel haters. Falk also authored an anti-Israeli article called ‘Slouching toward a Palestinian Holocaust’. It was also about this time that Canada was “the sole holdout” in a 46-1 UN vote for Israel dismantling its settlements.

The Harper government also successfully blocked Obama’s move to have the G-8 countries issue a press release at their meeting last May that would include the president’s suggestion that Israel should negotiate with the Palestinians on the basis of returning to its 1967 borders. Obama had made the 1967 borders remark in a speech only a week earlier and obviously hadn’t planned on Canada’s opposition. Unfortunately, Canada was the only G-8 country to oppose the president’s press release plan.
But Harper’s unabashed support for Israel has come with a price. For its pro-Israeli stance, Canada lost its bid last fall to Portugal for a non-permanent seat on the powerful United Nations Security Council. It was the first time since 1945 that Canada, an UN-founding member, had not won a Security Council seat after having been elected in every previous decade. To his credit, Harper had refused to “water down” his pro-Israel policy to curry the support of the UN’s despots and Muslim bloc to secure the seat.

While the animosity of anti-Israel states towards Canada at the UN could be expected, the Obama administration’s behaviour concerning the Canadian attempt to win the Security Council seat was not. The American UN delegation did nothing to help Canada obtain the seat, reportedly on the instructions of Ambassador Susan Rice, according to Richard Grenfell, a former US delegation press officer.
“US State Department insiders say that US Ambassador Susan Rice not only didn’t campaign for Canada’s election but instructed American diplomats not to get involved in the weekend leading up to the heated contest,” Grenfell stated.

But many Canadians were pleased with the UN’s anti-Canada vote result and viewed their country’s rejection with a sense of pride. These Canadians view the UN as a morally bankrupt organization containing petty tyrants whose only goals are to destroy Israel and drain as much money from the West as possible, which they can then steal, since they probably already have stolen everything of value in their own countries. So rather than any embarrassment or loss of face at failing to get a Security Council seat, such Canadians felt honoured to have been turned down by such a disreputable bunch.

Stephen Harper’s unqualified support for Israel stems from his deep Christian convictions, like the other staunch advocates for Israel in North America, the fundamentalist Christians in the United States. Harper’s province, Alberta, is noted in Canada for its strong conservative and Christian heritage. Alberta’s provincial Conservative Party, for example, has held power in Edmonton uninterruptedly since 1971 and just elected its first woman leader.

It is from this background that the Harper government’s unbending moral convictions regarding Israel and other major issues of importance to Canadians derive. And unusual for this day and age, one can be sure the Harper government will not back down on these moral principles as long as it is in power. The Ottawa Protocol on Combating Anti-Semitism is just another proof of that.