Stephen Harper’s Conservative government in Canada has been a staunch supporter of Israel through thick and thin. Now, during Operation Protective Edge, the Prime Minister and his Foreign Affairs Minister have both gone on record in defense of their Middle Eastern ally.
On Sunday, PM Harper decried Hamas tactics and called on world leaders to rally behind Israel.
“The indiscriminate rocket attacks from Gaza on Israel are terrorist acts, for which there is no justification,” Harper said in a statement issued Sunday.
“It is evident that Hamas is deliberately using human shields to further terror in the region.”
“Failure by the international community to condemn these reprehensible actions would encourage these terrorists to continue their appalling actions,” Harper said. “Canada calls on its allies and partners to recognize that these terrorist acts are unacceptable and that solidarity with Israel is the best way of stopping the conflict.”
Meanwhile, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird castigated UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay for his critique of Israel. Pillay had called for an immediate ceasefire in light of civilian casualties in Gaza.
“Canada rejects UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay’s uncalled-for criticism of Israel’s response to rocket attacks from Gaza. Focusing her comments on Israel is neither helpful nor reflective of the reality of this crisis,” he said Saturday.
Baird went on to argue that there is no “moral equivalence” between democratic Israel and Hamas, a recognized terrorist organization.
Baird was responding to a UN Security Council statement, approved by all 15 members, in which “serious concern regarding the crisis related to Gaza and the protection and welfare of civilians on both sides” is expressed, without mentioning the Hamas-fired rockets which instigated the current operation nor the specifics of the Israeli response. The statement goes on to call for “respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians.”