Stephen Harper’s Sermon on the Hill

December 25, 2010 § 8 Comments

Editor’s Note: This essay was written in response to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s speech at the Ottawa Conference on Combating Antisemitism on November 8th.

by Terry Greenberg

                                    Blessed art the war mongers
                                                            For they are hastening the Second Coming;
                                                Blessed art the ethnic-cleansers
                                                            For they are fulfilling the prophecy;
                                                Blessed art the soldiers of Zion
                                                            For they are doing God’s Work;
                                                Blessed art the enemies of free speech
                                                            For they are silencing the Devil.

On Parliament Hill in Ottawa on November 8, 2010 the Prime Minister of Canada delivered a sermon on good and evil to an international gathering of supporters of Israel in which he clearly articulated his view that all support for Israel is “good” and all animosity toward Israel is “evil”. In true Bible-thumper style he offered no middle ground, denouncing this as “moral ambivalence”. It was clear in his preaching that he believed Israel was God’s Plan, and any opposition to Israel was the Devil’s work.

It should be terrifying to Canadians that their Prime Minister would have such a fundamentalist and extremist world view. If we want to understand our current government’s foreign policy and the danger it poses to Canada’s welfare, it would be worthwhile to examine our Prime Minister’s “Sermon on the Hill”. All Canadians should read it for themselves and shudder. 

Harper’s speech was remarkable in a number of ways which are outlined below:

1) Biblical eschatological thinking. This is the foundation to Harper’s speech and is partly evidenced in his repetitious use of evangelical code words; particularly “evil” (eight times) and “hope” (three times). “Evil” for evangelicals is anything that opposes God’s plan, and “hope” refers to the desire for an early arrival of the End Times. When both of these words are used in conjunction with Israel the coded implications are clear.

2) Harper out-Zionists the Zionists. He appropriates many of the most extremely absurdist claims of mainstream Zionist propaganda as his own, including the following:

a) That criticism of Israel’s policies is a new, more sophisticated form of anti-Semitism;

b) The Jewish people are faced with another imminent Holocaust;

c) That most criticism of Israel, including that made by Israel’s direct victims, the Palestinians, is motivated by anti-Semitism rather than legitimate grievances;

d) That people in the fields of human rights and international law are only interested in criticizing Israel because they are anti-Semitic.

2) Harper ignores the evidence. He peppers his talk with many falsehoods including the following;

a) Anti-Semitism is a growing global problem. (The truth is that animosity to Israel’s policies is what is growing, not classical anti-Semitism.)

b) Anti-Semitism is a growing problem on Canadian campuses. (There is absolutely no evidence for this claim.)

c) Extremists “target the Jewish homeland as a scapegoat”, suggesting they really are motivated only by racial hatred rather than real grievances.

d) Iran “brazenly threatens to ‘wipe Israel of the map’”. The truth is that no such threat has ever been made, and Harper’s minions would have advised him of this.

3) Harper completely reverses reality. He declares that Canada must stand by Israel because of our duty “to defend the vulnerable, to challenge the aggressor, to promote and protect human rights.” He has described an upside-down world and expects Canada to live in it. It is the Palestinians who are the vulnerable, who are victims of aggression and have their human rights violated on a daily basis. Only someone indifferent to evidence and blinded by faith could see the Middle East in the way Harper describes it.

4) Harper abandons Canada. Perhaps the most malicious and seditious element of Harper’s talk was his commitment to support Israel, regardless of how badly it behaves, or how much doing so will harm Canada, “whatever the cost.” This statement must be seen for what it truly is: Harper’s promise to put his dedication to his religious beliefs above his responsibilities to Canada. Unfortunately for us Canadians, Canada was never mentioned in the Bible, and thus we are not important enough in the eyes of Harper’s God to warrant preferential treatment, even by our own leaders.

Canada’s Evangelical Leadership

Harper’s speech in Ottawa offers perhaps the clearest revelation of the roots of the current misguided Canadian foreign policy. It is not based on evidence, and is not even based on doing what is best for Canadians. Indeed it goes so far as to accuse many, if not most Canadians of being on the side of “evil” and essentially in league with the Devil. The logical corollaries to the blessings listed above are the following;

                                                Damned art the peace-makers
                                                            For they are delaying the second Coming;
                                                Damned art the supporters of Palestinians
                                                            For they are resisting the prophecy;
                                                Damned art the critics of Israel
                                                            For they are doing the Devil’s work;
                                                Damned art the advocates of free speech
                                                            For they will give voice to the Devil words.

We do not have to believe in any of the blessings or damnings implied in Harper’s sermon on Parliament Hill, but we can be certain of one thing: Canada will be damned if we allow the disgraceful, immoral, absurdist thinking that defines Harper’s world view to be the basis for our foreign policy much longer.

– Terry Greenberg is a retired Canadian diplomat who specialised in East Asia. He obtained an M.A. in Communications wherein he studied the techniques of discourse analysis which he applied to Stephen Harper’s speech here. He is a political activist with a special interest in free speech and Middle East issues. He resides in Vancouver, Canada and can be contacted here.

About these ads

Tagged: ,

§ 8 Responses to Stephen Harper’s Sermon on the Hill

  • Ibrahim Hayani says:

    Terry Greenburg’s outstanding article is the most articulate and thoughtful analysis of Harper’s ideologically-driven Middle Eastern policy I’ve ever come across. For this reason, the article should be read by all Canadians who need to be aware of the danger to Canadian well-being and Canada’s reputation in the world resulting from such a naive, albeit dangerous, evangelical orientation of our foreign (and domestic) plicy. In more ways than not, such an orientation is not only incompatible with Canadian values, it is also divisive because it does not reflect the feeling of the majority of Canadians who do not want religious orientation of politicians to determine our public policy, let alone the foreign policy of a multicultural country like Canada. Such a one-sided approach to the Isreali-Palestinian conflict is not good to either Canada or the long-run interest of Israel itself. It is not conducive to peace either.

    • Moll says:

      Obviously, neither Terry Greenburg, NOR Ibrahim Hayani have not read the “Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

      The first line of the Constitution Act, 1982, reads as follows:

      “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:”

      Harper stands true to what Canada stands for — the judeo-christian ethic. His is not an ideologically-driven M/E policy. He does NOT endanger Canada’s well-being, nor its reputation. He solidly reflects the dominant silent majority’s voice — we want our politicians to be honest, transparent, and we voters want to know our politician’s basic belief system is similar to that of the dominant silent majority.

      As for the Israel/Arab conflict, that conflict will not be resolved anytime soon. The nonstate tribal arabs are working at establishing themselves based on fabrications, fantasies, lies and more lies.

      What is built on lies disintegrates when truth shines its penetrating light upon it (including domestic & foreign policies, statehood, etc.)

      Ah, yes, Ibrahim Hayani is good at throwing his words around. But he has forgotten that words are sacred. Words are the only vessels/containers he has in/with which to convey truth. He uses words to deceive and mislead, and in so doing, he has lost his ability to communicate, and his credibility as a communicator. Words are his undoing.

      • bt says:

        does judo/christian ethic believes in ethnic cleasning of other religious groups.. remember 2009 Gaza massacre when 1300 Palestinaians vs 1 Israeli? which part of your Bilble says that criticizing brutal policies of israel is a religious taboo and un-thical?

        you seem to believe in the sanctity of words but human lives for you zionists have no respect especially in regards to Palestinians.

        last but no the least, you remind me of a cashier in America who was very rude to me for no reason (assuming that i was a Muslim, i figured later). i decided to complain to the manager about her behaviour and she started screaming in front of customers that i was an anti-semite and was complaining because i had seen her name Deborah, a hebrew name(till then the only Deborah i knew was Raymond’s wife in the TV show ‘ Everyboy Loves Raymond, certainly not a jew). that day i had a taste of the petty/ugly anti semitism politics.

  • Robert Assaly says:

    Mr. Greenberg’s insights pry open an uncomfortable issue of the evangelical neo-Con mindset, and perhaps some Christian Zionism, in Stephen Harper’s policies.

    I would however question that he is “blinded by faith.” Christian faith enlightens, not blinds; Mr. Harper may be rather blinded by a cynical, faithless ideology.

  • mustafarama says:

    Hi there,
    To know the miserable plight of the Palestinians, away from religions and ideologies, I ask Mr. Harper and free Canadians to visit the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and other places. They will see terrible heartbreaking facts and tragedies. Palestinians have been innocent victims of Europe and America who created the state of Israel on the skull of the indigenous people of Palestine for thousands of years. If Hitler killed millions of Jews and Europe and America were standing by, why should only the Palestinians pay the price of Hitler’s crimes and let their blood shed for the past 63 years at the hands of the Israelis? Back to religion, did Christ ask the Christians to support his crucifiers the Jews and Israelis?
    If Mr. Harper and Zionist Canadians can’t go to Lebanon and Gaza, they can google: Palestinian camps in Lebanon, Zionist Massacres in Palestine, Is Israel an apartheid State? & Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine. I guess 21st cntury man should be free and fair.

  • mustafarama says:

    Hi there,
    To know the miserable plight of the Palestinians, away from religions and ideologies, I ask Mr. Harper and free Canadians to visit the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and other places. They will see terrible heartbreaking facts and tragedies. Palestinians have been innocent victims of Europe and America who created the state of Israel on the skull of the indigenous people of Palestine for thousands of years. If Hitler killed millions of Jews and Europe and America were standing by, why should only the Palestinians pay the price of Hitler’s crimes and let their blood shed for the past 63 years at the hands of the Israelis? Back to religion, did Christ ask the Christians to support his crucifiers the Jews and Israelis?
    If Mr. Harper and Zionist Canadians can’t go to Lebanon and Gaza, they can google: Palestinian camps in Lebanon, Zionist Massacres in Palestine, Is Israel an apartheid State? & Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine. I guess 21st century man should be free and fair.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Stephen Harper’s Sermon on the Hill at P U L S E.

meta

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,659 other followers

%d bloggers like this: