Not many foreign heads of state stand up for Israel. When that does happen, it is newsworthy.

Such is the case with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

During the Summer 2006 Lebanon conflict, Harper rejected calls from some quarters in Ottawa to adopt an even-handed neutral approach, like the position assumed by most European nations who prefer to watch Hizbullah pummel Israel and yet see justice and suffering on both sides.

Harper, instead, was forthright in denouncing terror groups who dared to reign hundreds of missiles on Israel’s sovereign territory, forcing one million out of only seven million Israeli citizens to either flee their homes or take cover in shelters, for more than one month, while hundreds of homes in northern Israel were destoyed.

In that context, Canadian PM Harper has retained his consistent support for the Jewish state under siege, and scheduled a state visit to Israel for the third week of June.

Indeed, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, under several police investigations for high level corruption, prepared for Harper’s visit with the pomp and circumstances due to a friendly foreign dignitary, while readying Jewish and non-Jewish Canadians to accompany Prime Minister Harper on his visit.

However, Harper cancelled his visit.

Harper’s office openly stated that Harper did not want to be hosted by an Israeli prime minister under police investigation

This was a case of a politician who did not deny receiving $150,000.00 in cash payments over a period of six years from at least one supporter, someone who was clearly waiting for the opportunity of a visit from a friendly foreign leader to cast himself in the lime light and distract the public from routine daily news stories of felony charges hurled at their head of state, to the point where Olmert is now called The official “Crime Minister of the state of Israelâ€Â.

Amazingly, Prime Minister Olmert holds on to his job, with his lawyers claiming that he has not broken the law. Israeli investigative reporter Yoav Yitzhak actually revealed an official transcript which quotes Olmert telling the police that he “did not open the envelopesâ€Â. Right. And he only inhaled.

Olmert is not the only Israeli leader with a halo of moral questions surrounding his rise to power. When Israel Minister of Defense Ehud Barack called on Olmert to consider a temporary suspension from his position, an Olmert public relations advisor, Tal Zilberstein, a former PR advisor to Barak, declared that he knew of many “envelopesâ€Â that Barak had received when he was Prime Minister, 1999-2001.

Zilberstein should know, as one of several Barak advisors who were implicated in the creation of twenty five fictitious non profit organizations, in Israel and abroad, which helped elect Barak over the Likud’s Benyamin Netanyahu in 1999. The State Prosecutor at the time recommended one indictment — against Zilberstein, which was never carried out. Barak’s lawyer, Yitzhak Herzog, now a senior Israel government cabinet minister, was threatened with an indictment because he handled these fictitious groups on behalf of Barak. However, Herzog chose the right to remain silent and was also not indicted. Herzog’s behavior was in the confines of the law, yet with a moral cloud over his shoulders.

The source of the funds for these 25 fictitious non profit organizations which catapulted Barak to power. Speaking in Toronto several years ago, PR maven James Carvelle stated that tens of millions of dollars flowed from the Clinton Administration in the direction of Elud Barak, to defeat Netanyahu.

All this represents the tip of the iceberg of the crisis of moral leadership in Israel.

Harper is the first friend of Israel to declare that he will not be used to create a false impression of integrity around leaders of Israel whose morals have come into question.

After all, is there a nation in the world where a politician who did not deny receiving $150,000 in cash payments, with no receipt, where that leader would not resign?


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.