Stephen Harper planning first visit to Israel, will announce details at Jewish National Fund dinner
Stephen Harper will announce plans to visit Israel for the first time at a high profile dinner in his honour in Toronto being hosted by the Jewish National Fund Sunday, sources said.
Mr. Harper is considered by many to be Israel’s staunchest ally but he has never visited the Holy Land.
He may have been spurred into action by comments made by Stephen Bronfman, the new chief fundraiser for the Liberal Party, who claimed that Justin Trudeau, his party’s leader, is closer to Israel than Mr. Harper because he has actually been there.
The Jewish National Fund has been raising funds to build a migratory bird interpretive centre in Israel – the Stephen J. Harper Hula Valley Bird Sanctuary. The group has called Mr. Harper an “extraordinary world leader” who has restored Canada to the world stage.
Mr. Harper has a close personal rapport with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Conservative government has stood four-square with Israel since coming to power in 2006, when Mr. Harper infuriated Canadian Arabs by calling Israel’s bombing of Lebanon “measured”.
The Prime Minister’s Office would not confirm Friday night that any announcement will be made on an Israeli trip.
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