Wednesday, September 23, 2009
For once, an admirable action from Harper
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Wednesday that Canadian officials will be boycotting Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's address to the UN General Assembly because of his remarks concerning the Holocaust.
Speaking from Oakville, ON, Harper said that "there are times when things are being said in this world that it is important that countries that have a moral compass speak up, make their views known... Our absence there will speak volumes about how Canada feels about the declarations of President Ahmadinejad."
Ahmadinejad has repeatedly denied the Holocaust, and said that was a pretext for occupying Palestinian lands. He was quoted by Irna, the official Iranian news agency, as saying that "God willing, in the near future we will witness the destruction of the corrupt occupier [Israel] regime."
His comments were given to students at a conference in Iran called 'The World without Zionism,' which drew about 3 000 people.
This is the first and probably only time I will ever say this, but Harper has done exactly what needs to be done in this situation. His refusal to attend the address will speak volumes about Canada, and also displays a level of dignity that I really did not think this Conservative leader was capable of. If he is willing to risk angering Middle Eastern leaders by openly opposing their views on Israel, then he's got some guts. Hopefully, Canada's absence will show that not only can we legitimately claim credit to our reputation as a peacemaker, we are also willing to take a stand on important moral issues.