Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper once again proved himself to be Israel's champion at the G8 summit last week.
Despite intense pressure, Harper blocked calls to force Israel into final status talks based on accepting the 1949-1967 Armistice lines, with land swaps. He also opposed major aid packages to Egypt and Tunisia, where continued unrest has dogged transitional governments after the “Arab Spring” uprisings toppled decades-long regimes.
No Canadian aid will go to either country – an important point particularly in the case of Egypt, which has just opened its Rafiah border crossing with Gaza.
The move Saturday – carried out without European Union observers as previously negotiated between Israel and the Palestinian Authority – will enable the entry of even more arms, ammunition and terrorists into Gaza than its Hamas rulers have already managed to import through its hundreds of smuggler tunnels.
Still, the summit pledged a $20 billion-plus package of assistance to Egypt and to Tunisia on Friday at the close of its session.
In both cases, there remains a distinct possibility that the Muslim Brotherhood will back Islamist candidates who will win control of their governments, leading to additional Iran-type regimes.
However, the Group of Eight leaders meeting in Deaville, France contended that economic hardship would be more likely to push voters in each country towards radical Islam. Hence the decision to offer financial support for the fledgling pro-Democracy movements in each.
Harper was reelected recently without the need for opposition members in his coalition, which analysts said proves that a prime minister who satisfies voters doesn't lose by supporting Israel publicly.