Netanyahu asked Harper for help

By Barak Ravid, HAARETZ

At the request of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper thwarted an announcement Friday by the G-8 countries that would have supported U.S. President Barack Obama’s statement that talks between the Palestinians and Israel should be based on the 1967 borders with exchanges of territory.

The G-8 countries – the United States, Russia, France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada – met in France on Thursday and Friday to discuss the situation in the Middle East.

Obama presented his Middle East policy to the G-8 as an alternative to a unilateral Palestinian move to seek support for statehood in the United Nations General Assembly in September, and to clarify to the Palestinians that the international community takes a dim view of the Palestinians’ move to win statehood in the United Nations.

According to a senior government official in Jerusalem, Israel was concerned over the implications of a specific mention of support for Obama’s call for negotiations based on the 1967 borders and exchanges of territory, so the prime minister’s bureau and the Foreign Ministry began working on the matter as early as the middle of last week.

The Foreign Ministry instructed its envoys in the various capitals to ask that the G-8’s concluding statement emphasize three things: that a Palestinian state will arise only through direct negotiations, not through a unilateral move in the United Nations; opposition to Hamas-Fatah reconciliation as long as Hamas rejects the Quartet’s conditions; and opposition to a mention of the issue of 1967 borders and exchanges of territory. However, there was concern over whether inclusion of the latter issue could be prevented, the official said, because at least seven out of the eight G-8 countries supported including it.

Tuesday, after Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, he telephoned Harper, who heads a rightist government under whose leadership Canada has become one of Israel’s greatest allies.

The senior government official said Netanyahu told Harper that mentioning the issue of the 1967 borders in the statement, without mentioning the other issues, such as Israel as a Jewish state or opposition to the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel, will be detrimental to Israeli interests and a reward to the Palestinians.

“The prime minister is in constant contact with various leaders in moving ahead the diplomatic process,” Netanyahu’s bureau said.

Since a decision on the statement requires consensus, Canada’s efforts led to a release of the statement without reference to the 1967 borders.

The statement released expressed general support for the Obama speech, but called for the establishment of a Palestinian state through negotiations, not unilaterally, and for Hamas to accept the Quartet’s conditions.

Harper said Friday that he thought the statement issued was “balanced.” He also said it was important not to “cherry-pick” Obama’s statement. “I think if you’re going to get into other elements, obviously I would like to see reference to elements that were also in President Obama’s speech. Such as, for instance, the fact that one of the states must be a Jewish state. The fact that the Palestinian state must be de-militarized.”

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman spoke over the weekend with Canada’s foreign minister, John Baird, and thanked him for Canada’s position during the G-8 deliberations. “Canada is a true friend of Israel and with a realistic and proper view of things, it understands that the 1967 borders do not conform to Israel’s security needs and with the current demographic reality,” Lieberman said.

May 29, 2011 | 7 Comments »

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  1. Emmess writes:
    You obviously have no idea about Canada’s role in WW-II and Korea. When it comes to heavy lifting, Canada is in the forefront and doesn’t wait until the war is almost over.

    Good Lord! WW-II and Korea were several generations ago. Other than in Afghanistan where they play a role with NATO, what has Canada done since then, except TALK, TALK and TALK some more? Canada sat on its hands and cheered for the US to fail in Iraq, which is now a functioning democracy, no thanks to them.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love Canada and its people, and especially the variety of its ethnic restaurants in Toronto, but in our foxhole in the war on Islamic terror? PUHLEEEZ! Believe me, I’d love to see it, but the country has become limp through years of liberalism and socialism.

    Canadian Jews are so desperate that they have orgasims every time Harper throws them a bone – but as I have illustrated, he does NOTHING to confront anti-Semitism at York University – which is supposedly controlled by Jews – and is now threatening to provide tons of maple syrup to fight Islamic terrorism.

    If the P.M. of Canada cannot confront anti-Semitism at one of his own universities run by Jews, how the hell is he going to confront anti-Semitism in any international forum, or on the ground in the war on terror?

    The good news is that Harper is a sound fiscal conservative and way better than his predecessors and now he has control of the government without a coalition. I guess that’s progress. But I want to see more ACTION and less TALK!

    Don’t give me this bull about federal and provincial – Harper knew all that when he made the claim about standing up to anti-Semitism “no matter the cost”. What cost did he have in mind? All he has to do is use his own freedom of speech and bully pulpit to issue press releases castigating York for its anti-Semitic programs. Don’t kid yourself that York petered out – anti-Semitism is part of their routine and they have anti-Semitic programs frequently and will do so again.

  2. @American Eagle.
    You obviously have no idea about Canada’s role in WWII and Korea. When it comes to heavy lifting, Canada is in the forefront and doesn’t wait until the war is almost over.
    As to York University, it’s a matter of jurisdiction. Unfortunately, the provincial government is Liberal but the Feds were watching for violations of federal laws. The immigration ministry was ready to pounce. Fortunately, the York fiasco petered out.

  3. Stephane Pereire wrote:
    Canada will support democracy, but will not fight for others’ democratic rights.

    No, Prime Minister Harper will let President Obama send American troops, and American tax dollars, to joust against windmills, and ensure Canadians are getting the governance they voted for.

    We finally have a Canuck who KNOWS that Stephen Harper is full of pious dog-poo when he says he will support Israel no matter what. The others are getting all weepy with “pride” as if Islamic terrorists give a crap about “pride”.

    According to Stephane, Harper is not going to do anything but talk and talk and talk some more. Just like he did when he threatened to confront anti-Semitism in Canada “no matter the cost” and then ran and hid under his desk when ACTUAL anti-Semitism was publicly taking place at York University.

    In addition to maple syrup, can we ask Canada to send some Mounties after the heavy lifting is over? Who really knows.

    They did a good job in Afghanistan, though, which shows they can help fight terrorism when they are motivated. The problem is they are rarely motivated, preferring to leave the heavy lifting to others.

  4. I hope Harper can provide more than sweet words and maple syrup to gum up the guns of the terrorists.

  5. At last, a reason to be proud to be Canadian.
    Hopefully, Prime Minister Harper will continue to see the folly in President Obama’s continually changing foreign policy (Americans voted for Barak Obama because he promsed change, because he promised to pull US troops out of Iraq – they never thought he planned on sending these troops into Afghanistan, or Libya).
    President Truman was filled with doubts about support for the State of Israel, primarily because advisors told him that the new nation would require American troops to enforce peace between Israelis, Palestinians and their neighbors woh opposed the Jewish state – he was coniscent of the public sentiment, that they were tired of foreign conflicts, sending trrops to far off lands to fight for causes they did not fully understand or support. It seems Prime Minister Harper has gauged Canadian sentiment correctly, and understands the clear difference between keeping peace, and promoting democracy in far off regions, where the concept is anathema to their lives (President Obama, meanwhile, has becoma a Neo-Con, restoring the foreign policies of George W. Bush, whom President Obama claimed was wrong in sending troops to Iraq – he has even adopted Israeli policy regarding secret missions on foreign soil to eliminate enemies – it is interesting that the reason it took so long to reap vengeance on Osama Bin Laden was because the former Neo-Con leadership was heitant about going through with such right wing action, something about which President Obama had no second thoughts as long as the act would gain him percentages on the popularity scale).
    Canada will support democracy, but will not fight for others’ democratic rights. Canada will not subvert other governments, as the US under President Obama seems all to willing to do. In the long run, these policies and military adventures will backfire, and American citizens will again ask the world (especially the peoples of the MiddleEast) why they are so disliked.
    No, Prime Minister Harper will let President Obama send American troops, and American tax dollars, to joust against windmills, and ensure Canadians are getting the governance they voted for.

  6. Dear Mr. Lieberman: It’s not about borders. It’s not about security. It’s not about the TA stock exchange and swimming pools in Netanya. It’s about the fact that Israel is OURS. Once Jews understand that security is not the issue, religion is (Muslim hegemony) it will be possible to defend Israel properly by realizing that the only way to defeat an enemy is to vanquish him. Peace has never in history been won through negotiation. Peace is won through war that is fought to a conclusion; where the loser surrenders the sword. Arabs understand this, Jews do not. In ’67, had the Dome of the Rock been reduced to rubble, the war would have ended. Because it was not, in Egypt that war is celebrated as a victory.
    It isn’t “security” that will bring peace and lets disabuse ourselves of the belief that the Jews needed Israel because of the Holocaust. Zionism did not begin with Herzl, it began with Abraham and we needed Israel because it is ours.