Over the last several years, I’ve written copiously on Stephen Harper and his fealty toward Israel. I have shown, convincingly, I think, that he rules not by the consent of Parliament but according to his own dictatorial sense of Divine Right, a toxic blend of neo-con economic theology and sociopathic biblical literalism.
As the standing pic of him on my front page shows, Harper cannot really be considered the prime minister of Canada because that would imply he governs on behalf of Canadians, respects Canada’s institutions, and makes rational policy in the national interest. As we have seen, though, Harper and his cabinet of loyal sockpuppets unapologetically wage war on the civil service, censor scientific reports, intimidate critics, lie to Parliament, and send our military to die in foreign colonial wars.
Canadians cannot look to Parliament alone to stop the slide into fascism. The standard excuse from the Opposition is that Harper has been given a mandate to govern. That might seem to be the case, but a democracy cannot be reduced simply to the blind rule of the ballot box. A democracy is a set of constitutional principles, political beliefs and cultural traditions that persist over time and are larger than any government. It cannot be “the will of the people” to elect a government that goes out of its way to destroy these principles, beliefs and traditions. Treason is still treason even if committed by an elected government. Take, for example, the recent G8 Summit in Deauville, France.
Resolution 242 has always been the basic starting point of Canada’s Middle East policy; without it, the last 40-odd years of “negotiations” with Israel make no sense. The resolution was even the starting point for the 1993 Oslo Agreement’s Statement of Principles, which Canada endorsed. Politics aside, Canada, like any nation, must acknowledge the 1967 borders because it is the law. As is now painfully clear to the whole world, Canada no longer respects international law.
Leading up to the signing of the summit’s final declaration, the signatories were prepared to include a sentence reaffirming the primacy of the 1967 borders as a basis for a negotiated settlement. Harper, though, refused to sign. He would not endorse the 1967 borders. In an instant, 40-plus years of political tradition and legal conformity were summarily repudiated. This, Harper had no right to do.
What caused this abrupt change? It turns out that, at the behest of a foreign leader, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Harper agreed to draft a statement for all G8 ministers that would exclude any reference to the 1967 borders. For the sake of consensus, the other ministers capitulated to Canada’s obstructionism and agreed to remove the reference. The declaration also included a pro-Israel criticism of Palestine’s legitimate plan to declare statehood in September at the United Nations.
There is a direct cause and effect between Netanyahu’s call to sabotage the declaration and Harper’s complicity.
Did it benefit Canada to deny its political past, violate international law and deny Palestine its legitimate aspirations? No.
Did it harm Canada to deny its political past, violate international law and deny Palestine its legitimate aspirations? Yes.
Did Harper’s actions benefit another country? Yes, Israel.
Did Harper represent Canada at the G8 Summit? No, he represented the interests of a foreign government.
Is Harper the Prime Minister of Canada? No, he’s Israel’s governor in Ottawa.
Forty per cent of Canadians may have voted for a police-state on May 2, but 60% of us want to preserve our democracy. It was this silent (silenced?) majority that 21-year-old Parliamentary page Brigitte DePape (left) had in mind when she held up her “Stop Harper!”sign in the House during the Throne Speech.
In an interview with CTV, she said Canada needs its own “Arab Spring” and that Canadians need to engage in civil disobedience to stop Harper from ruining this country. Her passion, anger and courage should inspire all Canadians to do what needs to be done not just to expose the hijacking of our foreign policy but to protect our civil liberties, medical care, and the environment. (For reaction to DePape’s cri de coeur, see here.)
Canada is now the world’s leading rogue state after Israel.
How does that make you feel, and what are you prepared to do about it?
One thing we can all do to draw attention to Harper’s treason is to fly the flag upside down to show the world that Canada is in distress and has no national government.