His admirers argue that steadfastness could turn the burgeoning bond between evangelical Christians and Jews into a powerful and unprecedented alliance that could leave him unbeatable at the ballot box.
But a growing chorus of critics warns that Harper has already paid a high price for that strategic calculation, irrevocably alienating Canada’s mushrooming Islamic population and leaving in shreds the country’s reputation as an even-handed peace broker.
Harper’s stand has also raised more unsettling questions. What does it mean if and when a believer in the infallibility of Biblical prophecy comes to power and backs a damn-the-torpedoes course in the Middle East? Does it end up fuelling overenthusiastic end-timers who feel they have nothing to lose in some future conflagration, helping speed the world on Hagee’s fast track to Armageddon? (Marcie McDonald, Stephen Harper and the Theo-cons: The rising clout of Canada’s religious right)
The Harper government has hooked it's wagon to John Hagee and Charles McVety's Christians United for Israel, that promotes a dispensationalist religious belief that all Jews must return to Israel, where they will accept Jesus or be killed; before Christians can fell the rapture.
For now Israel is embracing them because it has proven to be very lucrative for tourism and American weaponry. But not all Jewish people agree.
One pastor in Jerusalem from a mainstream church expressed skepticism about the motives of the Christian Zionists — and of the cynicism of Israelis who play along. "It's the worst kind of anti-Semitism," says the cleric, who asked to remain anonymous given the sensitivity of the issue. "At the end, these Evangelicals say that all the Jews will be dead except those who become Christians. But in the meantime, the Israelis are happy to fill their hotels with them and use their help to get American weapons."
Shortly before Hagee's tour, American Rabbi Eric Yoffie from the liberal Reform Jewish Movement denounced the friendship between Israel and Christian Evangelicals, not only because Hagee and his like-minded brethren reject the two-state solution (with East Jerusalem as capital of a future Palestinian state) but because they are often at odds with liberal Jews in the U.S. over such incendiary topics as abortion and gay rights.
But why should we be concerned about this? If he is hanging out with religious nuts, so what?
This is a very dangerous thing, since John Hagee believes that only a nuclear attack on the Middle East will pave the way for Christians and that whole rapture thing. And our little Stevie will do anything to hold onto power.
For Harper, the courtship of the Christian right is unlikely to prove an electoral one-night stand. Three years ago, in a speech to the annual Conservative think-fest, Civitas, he outlined plans for a broad new party coalition that would ensure a lasting hold on power. The only route, he argued, was to focus not on the tired wish list of economic conservatives or “neo-cons,” as they’d become known, but on what he called “theo-cons”—those social conservatives who care passionately about hot-button issues that turn on family, crime, and defence.
"Even foreign policy had become a theo-con issue, he pointed out, driven by moral and religious convictions. “The truth of the matter is that the real agenda and the defining issues have shifted from economic issues to social values,” he said, “so conservatives must do the same.
"Arguing that the party had to come up with tough, principled stands on everything from parents’ right to spank their children to putting “hard power” behind the country’s foreign-policy commitments ... " ( Stephen Harper and the Theo-cons, The rising clout of Canada’s religious right, by Marci McDonald,
I'm doing something a little different with my blog, trying to organize archives, etc. so I'm using this page to link my stories to Harper's dnagerous policies when it comes to his blind support of Israel.
Feel free to use anything.
We've got to start preparing ourselves for the next election. Harper's party is the wrong fit for Canada and really must be put out to pasture, before they completely destroy this country.
My Postings on Harper, Israel and His Party's Antisemitism