One nation to be envied
By Melanie Phillips, November 20, 2014
I recently returned from a speaking tour in Canada and the US, talking mainly but not exclusively to Jewish groups. Two things in particular struck me about Canada. The first was the strange experience of being in a country led by a leader who actually leads.
I have long admired Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, for his outspoken support for Israel and moral courage. I remarked as much at a number of my events. Every time, the audience applauded fervently before I finished what I was saying and even leapt to its feet in its emotion.
True, these were mainly conservatively minded audiences. Even so, can you imagine British gatherings displaying such enthusiasm over David Cameron? Quite.
The second thing was the alarm over the twin issues of Islamic terrorism and campus anti-Israel activity. A few days before I arrived, Canada had been horrified by terrorist attacks in Montreal and Ottawa. At the same time, it seems many Canadian universities – like campuses in Britain – are facilitating the intimidation of Jewish students, who run a gauntlet of verbal attacks and threatening behaviour in a relentless campaign of demonisation against Israel.