Sunday, January 19, 2014

Change in Canada's position on Jerusalem?

Prime Minister Harper is visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Previous Canadian official visits avoided the Western Wall as Canada (officially) does not recognize Israel's claim to Jerusalem as capital (or sovereignty in general).

It is also significant that Prime Minister Harper will be speaking to the Knesset. This action implicitly recognizes Jerusalem as the Israeli capital (although the Knesset is on territory held by Israel prior to 1967 it is located in Jerusalem as Israel's capital).

Remember a previous Conservative Prime Minister, Joe Clark, planned to move Canada's embassy to Jerusalem.

Perhaps the Canadian official position will change? Maybe this change will be announced during the visit to Israel? If so this would be a very significant shift in Canadian policy.


Mark said...

Here's the thing: few Canadians would understand the significance of visiting the Western Wall, visiting the Knesset, or the controversy around Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Furthermore, as long as the government does not make any "official" announcements regarding these things, Harper can always dodge the criticism of those who do understand the issues.

Harper's actions allow him to make a good show for Israeli Jews, and right-wing Canadian Jews, without criticism.

Stephen Harper is not the master strategist that his admirers make him out to be, but he does play everything for political strategy.

opit said...

Funny. The way I recalled it, discipline in Joe Clarke's cabinet was so problematic that an international incident was a concern over a motormouth opining publicly on the Jerusalem matter the first week the government was in power. So here is double irony - though Clarke is admittedly up on foreign policy personally :