During his ten years as Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper earned the gratitude of Jews throughout the world for his courage in being one of the few leaders to firmly stand by Israel in a world dominated by anti-Israel bias and hate.
Again and again, in public statements and officials gestures, Harper exhibited bravery and fortitude. He repeatedly came to the defense of Israeli interest and refused to jump on the bandwagon of unfairness. He declined to condemn Jews who build homes in Yehudah and Shomron, and after world powers led by the United States reach the nuclear deal with Iran, the Harper government announced it would keep its own embargo on Teheran.
In an address to the Jewish Community Council of Montreal, he referred to an “overwhelming trend” in the world to single out Israel “in the most extreme and bizarre ways that is so out of proportion with any reality. Well, friends, we are never going along with that. It is just wrong.”
He was also a fierce opponent of efforts to boycott Israel or harass supporters of Israel.
“I’m all for freedom of speech and expression in Canada, and we need to be sure we’re defending that,” Harper told the Canadian Jewish News. “But when Canadian university students are feeling unsafe on their way to classes because of BDS or Israel Apartheid Week, that just goes against Canadian values.”
With his defeat, Israel lost a genuine friend, one who will be missed.