Saturday, September 21, 2013
Harper's Flock of Admirers
No doubt due to his hawkish support of all things Israeli, Stephen Harper is set to receive a singular honour from his Jewish admirers:
The Jewish National Fund’s arm in Canada is raising money to build the “Stephen J. Harper Hula Valley Bird Sanctuary Visitor and Education Centre” in a nature park in a northern valley bordered by the Golan Heights to the east and the Naphtali Range of mountains to the west.
Always insightful, Star letter writers are chirping up with their opinions:
Re: Bird centre in Israel to be named after Harper, Sept. 18
The Star reported that the Jewish National Fund (JNF) “has helped the Jewish state acquire land, extend settlement, and rehabilitate the environment,” but it does not mention that the organization is very controversial, since it acquired much of this land from dispossessed Palestinians, has covered up demolished Palestinian villages with recreational parks and forests, and that it practices racial discrimination in the provision of land and housing by only leasing its land to Jews.
Most disturbing is JNF Canada’s project, Ayalon Canada Park, built over the ruins of two depopulated and destroyed Palestinian villages — Imwas and Yalu — as well as over the lands of the destroyed village of Beit Nuba.
Our politicians and banks should not be endorsing Palestinian dispossession. Independent Jewish Voices’ campaign to expose the JNF is a much-needed initiative for peace and justice.
Tyler Levitan, Campaigns Coordinator, Independent Jewish Voices—Canada, Ottawa
Reporting that an Israeli bird interpretive centre will be named after the Prime Minister, Tonda McCharles remarks that he is considered more hawk than dove when it comes to the Middle East.
If such a centre ever opens in our country, I suggest the ostrich — head buried in the sand — would be a more suitable Canadian symbol for Stephen Harper, who claims to know nothing of a deal hatched in his own office to pay off Mike Duffy’s improper Senate expenses.
Stephen Moore, Regina
Congratulations to the Jewish Community for recognizing Proroguing Minister Harper for what he really is — for the Birds — by arranging for such an honour to him in Israel.
In fact, considering the valued appropriateness of the dedication to Harper, I am offering my 50 cent contribution, when it happens, to build a statue of Harper in that location so the weary birds may rest their tired wings and deposit their appreciation as well. Congratulations, Mr. Harper, no one other than your American ally Barack Obama deserves a similar tribute.
In fact, since you are always willing to stand with your allies, regardless of the implicit dishonesty and fraud as there was in the case of Iraq, make an offer to Obama to have his statue built alongside yours — hand in hand. Dedicated allies!
Oh yes, if Obama agrees to have his statue thus erected, I will make a contribution of an additional 50 cents. How about the magnanimity of that, Mr. Proroguer?
Emanuel D. Samuel, North York
You can read more of their thoughts here.