One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Harper government is its resolute support for the state of Israel.
Indeed, few Prime Ministers, if any, have been as pro-Israel as Prime Minister Harper.
It’s easy to dismiss this as a pure political move.
After all, for Harper strongly supporting Israel is good domestic politics in that it plays well with a key Tory constituency – social conservatives.
For a whole host of reasons social conservatives can be more pro-Israel than even many Israelis.
And of course, it might even help win the Tories a few Jewish votes.
But for Harper this is about more than just politics.
Back in the days when we worked together at the National Citizens Coalition, long before he needed to make any sort of political calculation, Harper used to regularly tell me that he was as he put it, “extremely pro-Israel”.
He simply thought it was important for Western democracies to support the only democratic state in the Middle East, a state which also happened to shared many of our values.
So Harper’s Israel stance represents a rare intersection of policy, principle and politics.