Monday, July 16, 2007

Did You Know?

Did you know that Canada is now the only western nation not to have normalized relations with the new Palestinian government? MacKay has issued a statement offering support for the Abbas government. Harper has met with King Abdullah, wherein Canada was asked to play a larger role in negotiations. Why is it then that Canada sits alone? I don't get it, why the hesitation?


Karen said...

I've been mulling this over too. I suspect like every decision, it's based in ideology, weighing fallout.

It really makes no sense, but didn't he excite his base during the Lebanon debacle, by siding with Israel? Siding is the important word there.

I can only think that the civil servants are scrambling to find a way to posture Harp. Remember the defections from the Jewish camp? Reisman, Cotler's wife, etc. Thankfully her husband saw how shallow the gesture was.

As is usual, the neophytes, (our government), are searching to keep a foot on each ice-berg. As they pull apart, they'll have to jump, but you can bet your boots, they'll choose the safer one.

Steve V said...

The curious part, even the Americans are on side. I don't know if you caught any of Harper's press conference with Abdullah, but Harper made a strange comment. When they were discussing Canada's role, Harper was speaking about Jordan and then went off topic and said he wished that he could have met with Olmert during his last visit to North America. The comment was completely disjointed within the context of the train of thought. It was almost, and this is purely my perception, as if Harper was aware that he was standing on stage with an Arab leader. It was a very weird comment to make, I don't know.

Karen said...

Hmm, interesting. No I did not catch it.

Was Abdullah in the frame? Could you catch a reaction?

I suspect your reaction was dead on.

Partisanship aside, I do not want a PM that plays to his base, with every bloody statement. I do not care which side of the political fence he is on, just do what makes sense for this country.

Those on the right may want to argue, that for yeeeaaarrs under Liberal rule that is what happened. I don't buy it.

There was a sophistication there, the time/knowledge/experience, Canada first thing, that was evident then. Same civil servants, btw. Now, it's worrying.

In this case, not because they are on the right, it's due to their inexperience and it's showing.

I expect more fall-out on the Columbia visit for example.

Steve V said...

What bothers me, it seems like we are missing an opportunity to be relevant here. When Abbas first formed the new government, countries reacted immediately. I did a post on Canada's relatively late reaction, and now we seem to be behind the curve yet again.

Harper has cultivated a very good relationship with the Israeli government. We can argue about Harper's stance, but it does lend itself to the view that Canada could be a player in discussions, if we stepped up on the other side of the dispute. However, Harper seems content to lay in the weeds, champion Israel and offer simple platitudes to the Palestinians. It's a shame, because Harper could actually be useful.

Anonymous said...

Do you think that maybe he is aware that there's a problem with that "government"?

Anonymous said...

During the Cold War, Western countries accepted the fact in some cases that we knew they were bastards - but they were our bastards, because that was better than losing the War.

Who really cares about the lame savages in the 'Palestinian Authority'? It's a good sideshow, but it really doesn't mean anything - the 'Authority' does not want any change in policy, the destruction of Israel is still priority number one.

Canadian Tar Heel said...


FYI: You find a fellow Liberal's commentary on the subject fairly interesting, although not precisely on point with your question (Whig).

Steve V said...

tar heel

Thanks for the link. My only comment, I think he underestimates our potential "leverage". I'm not suggesting massive influence, but Harper has built a good relationship with the Israelis, which could be useful when tough decisions are required.