21 January 2014

Mr. Harper's pilgrimage to Israel—more Canterbury Tales than trade mission

Trade missions have always been questionable vehicles for boosting the Canadian economy. Nonetheless, some can be justified by, if nothing else, the trade potential of the host country. For example, Jean Chrétien's Team Canada mission to China in 2011. China is now our second most important trading partner and the world's largest market. Huge potential there.

But Israel? Israel is a minor trading partner and offers but a small market. Yet our government is sponsoring a 208-strong mission led by our PM and including advisers, press secretaries, cabinet ministers, MPs, senators, chief executives of Canadian companies, lobbyists, RCMP security staff, various bureaucrats, members of the press, a priest and 21 rabbis. This motley assortment of travelers, particularly the priest and the rabbis, suggest the tour is more pilgrimage than trade mission, more Canterbury Tales than Team Canada.

This occasions no surprise given the Prime Minister's evangelical support of Israel. His justification of Israel's invasion of Gaza in 2008 in which 1.400 Palestinians were killed, mostly civilians including some 300 children, as an "appropriate response" was as Old Testament as it was distasteful.

Most of the expense for the pilgrimage will be picked up by Canadian taxpayers, some of whom
will no doubt object to paying for Mr. Harper's spiritual adventures. Faith-based trade policy is not in the best interests of Canada, nor is faith-based foreign policy.

1 comment:

David said...

And we got another big spoonful of that moral relativism you talked about back in 2011.
Was his speech also aimed at First Nations at home, to remind them there's nothing wrong with colonial occupation and the creation of indigenous bantustans?