Back in 2006, Frank Dimant, executive vice-president of B’nai Brith, caused a considerable stir when he described Canada’s then-new prime minister, Stephen Harper, as the answer to the Jewish community’s prayers.
Controversial because not all Jews are Conservative supporters. Indeed, historically, the default party for most Canadian Jews has been the Liberals. In addition, Harper, both in 2006 and to an even greater extent today, is a more ardent supporter of Israel than many Canadian Jews.
Or, more accurately, Harper is more comfortable with the hardline policies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on everything from confronting a nuclear Iran to maintaining Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories.
But even with those qualifiers, Dimant’s remarks in praise of Harper at a B’nai Brith dinner in Toronto almost six years ago — where Harper was treated by the audience like a rock star — ring even truer today .