Once again, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper makes it clear why he is a man to respect, and even more unusual, that he is a politician who tries to avoid prevarication. At the current G8 summit in Deauville, France Mr. Harper stands tall as the only leader refusing to embrace the US President’s position relative to restarting the perennially fruitless peace negotiations involving the Israelis and Palestinians.
US President Barack Obama has come out asserting that the 1967 pre-existing borders of Israel ought to be the starting point for negotiating a peace deal between Israel and the proposed Palestinian state, invoking the much desired “two-state solution”.
Following a speech to the US Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu it has become clear that such a starting position is unacceptable to the Israelis. He called the 1967 borders “indefensible”. Israel established the expanded boundaries originally to defend against threats encouraged during the Cold War when Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser was posturing aggressively with the support of the Soviet Union. It should be noted that Israel first became a significant political ally of the United States from 1967 forward.
As to the Palestinians, their position is exemplified by their association with terrorist groups Hamas and Fatah which declare that Israel has no right to exist. Palestinian leaders have stupidly and belligerently referred to Netanyahu’s speech to the US Congress as a “declaration of war”.
The Real Enemy
The state of Israel is quite capable of defending itself against the Palestinians and other fascist Arab states of the Middle East and North Africa. Its potentially greatest threat comes from an Iran with nuclear weapons or an Iranian-backed outlaw state like Syria.
The enemy’s strength resides in the fascist state of Iran; both Presidents Bush and Obama were mistaken in not identifying this ideological enemy and principal state sponsor of terror on behalf of Islamic fundamentalism worldwide. Instead, the two most incompetent presidents since Jimmy Carter picked the battlegrounds of Iraq and Afghanistan to concentrate the spilling of blood and treasure.
Instead of trying to make friends or revive “coalitions of the willing” among Arab states—dictatorships that are evermore in flux and internal regime conflict, rather than what has been characterized as democratic revolution—the leaders of Western democracies ought to be asserting a positive, principled position. This should include the clarity of unequivocal support for the only Western-style democracy in the Middle East. (Turkey no longer qualifies.)
A Moral Position
Perhaps Prime Minister Harper understands this. He does, at least, seem to understand that one does not negotiate with the enemy. To do so is to compromise your principles. To compromise your principles is to make a concession to the enemy; enemies whose intent is your destruction do not offer a starting point for negotiations. In this, if Stephen Harper stands alone among the G8, he stands alone as a moral man among the G8 leaders.
©Copyright 2011 Edward Podritske