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.
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.