Learning to Decipher the Rhetoric

One of Israel’s staunchest allies, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, recently visited the Jewish State and expressed great solidarity between the two countries. The highlight of the very warm and friendly visit was his speech before the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, where he told Israel’s leaders that Canada would stand behind them through “fire and water.”

The Israeli Knesset is known for the occasional heckling and outbursts of its members, but for the first time in history, a foreign dignitary, Prime Minister Harper, was heckled by one of the Arab Members of Knesset. Israel has several Arab political parties and one of them is represented in the Knesset by Ahmad Tibi who is known for voicing anti-Israel views. Tibi reacted to Harper’s pro-Israel speech by shouting at him about Israeli discrimination of Arabs and then walking out of the hall.

Due to the immense media coverage about the incident, another Tibi outburst that day received attention. Earlier that morning he had heckled Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the incident provides a clear example of the use of exaggeration and lies in order to make a case against Israel.

Susan Michael, ICEJ-USA Director
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014