Friday, January 31, 2014
OpEd by Ambassador (R) Louis A. Delvoie comments on Prime Minister Harper's speech to the Knesset, in Friday's Kingston Whig Standard.
" During his recent visit to the Middle East, Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered a speech to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. In that speech, he made a number of debatable points in an effort to ingratiate himself with his audience and with elements of the Canadian electorate. His most egregious comment, however, was to equate criticism of the Israeli government with anti-Semitism.
To suggest that anyone who criticizes the government of Prime Minister Netanyahu is a covert anti-Semite is a piece of arrant nonsense. It simply does not stand up to logical analysis. Among that government’s sharpest critics are hundreds of thousands of Israelis, including many of the country’s most distinguished journalists and intellectuals. Are they all anti-Semites? Are critics of the Harper government anti-Canadian? Are critics of the Berlusconi government anti-Italian? More potently, are critics of the Obama administration anti-American? If so, the United States must be home to tens of millions of anti-Americans."
Louis Delvoie was educated at Loyola College, the University of Toronto, McGill University and the National Defence College of Canada. He joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 1965. Between 1965 and 1980 he worked in Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Algeria, Belgium and Yugoslavia, as well as in Ottawa. He subsequently served abroad as Ambassador to Algeria, Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and High Commissioner to Pakistan. In Ottawa, he was Director General of the Bureau of International Security and Arms Control in the Department of External Affairs and Assistant Deputy Minister for Policy in the Department of National Defence. He retired from the Foreign Service in 1995.
From 1995 to 2002, he was an adjunct professor of international relations at Queen’s University and at Royal Military College. He is now a Senior Fellow in the Centre for International Relations at Queen’s University and a visiting lecturer at the Canadian Foreign Service Institute in Ottawa. He is a frequent commentator on Middle Eastern and South Asian affairs on CBC Radio. His numerous articles on Canadian foreign and security policy, and on international relations generally, have appeared in International Journal, Behind the Headlines, Canadian Defence Quarterly, Policy Options, Canadian Foreign Policy, The Round Table, British Journal of Canadian Studies, Canadian Military Journal and in a variety of books.