Canadian PM Turns Tables on the Media

Toronto Sun reporter David Akin, accompanied Canadian PM Stephen Harper on his visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories. According to Akin, it appears that when it comes to the media’s attitude towards Israel, Harper gets it:

Sometimes reporters just don’t get it.

Heck, I’m a reporter and I’m the first to admit that.

But at a joint press conference here Tuesday, Canada’s Stephen Harper and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu essentially teamed up to say that, when it comes to politics in the Middle East, reporters just don’t get it.

For the last two days, Canadian, Palestinian and Israeli journalists have, in Harper’s view, been trying to get him to say something bad about Israel and Netanyahu. After all, it says on a Canadian government website that it is official Canadian policy that Jewish settlements in the West Bank are illegal. Why, the journalists asked, couldn’t Harper just say that?

More to the point, after spending a good chunk of his historic 2,400-word speech to the Knesset on Monday explaining that there was no way he was going to single out Israel for criticism in any public forum, Harper must have been wondering why the heck reporters continued to try to get him to do just that.

So he turned the tables.

“Yesterday in the Palestinian Authority, no one asked me there to single out the Palestinian Authority for any criticism in terms of governance or human rights or anything else,” Harper said, speaking about the press conference he’d held Monday in Ramallah side-by-side with P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas. “When I’m in Israel, I’m asked to single out Israel. When I’m in Palestinian Authority I’m asked to single out Israel and in half the other places around the world you ask me to single out Israel.”

Read the full article here.

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Image: CC BY-SA Remy Steinegger/flickr.