Among Israel’s few international friends, none have been as stalwart in recent years as Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In 2006, he was among the earliest and strongest supporters of Israel’s right to defend herself against Hezbollah in the second Lebanon war. In 2008, he led the Canadian boycott of the Israel-bashing Durban II conference, called out the U.N. for incitement against and delegitimization of Israel, and (again) supported Israel’s right to defend herself – this time in Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. In 2010, after losing a bid for a seat on the U.N. Security Council, Prime Minister Harper, an evangelical Christian, acknowledged that his pro-Israel stance was likely what cost Canada the coveted post, but said he would stand up against anti-Israel rhetoric “whatever the cost.”
And today, he’s done it again.
Mr. Harper’s government announced that it has closed its embassy in Tehran, recalled its ambassador to Iran, and expelled Iranian diplomats from Canadian soil.
In a statement, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said, “Canada’s position on the regime in Iran is well known. Canada views the government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today.”
We, and freedom-loving people around the globe, are grateful to Prime Minister Harper, his government, and the people of Canada for taking a stand.