06/21/2012 11:19 EDT | Updated 08/21/2012 05:12 EDT

Mess With Israel and You're Messing With Canada


Peter MacKay does Canada proud

In a chaotic world where conflict and war is increasing, it is vital that allies who share the same

values and belief systems stand shoulder to shoulder in mutual support. Nations rely on this

system of friendship, an ideal which is often lost in the realpolitik of everyday governance.

Wednesday's revelation of Peter MacKay's support for the state of Israel demonstrates the strength of this principle of friendship among nations. His statement to Israel's top military commander that a threat to Israel is a threat to Canada was a powerful declaration to a friend -- and to the world -- that Canada can be counted on.

Critics of Canada's policy to stand by Israel may have lost sight of the meaning of friendship.

On a micro-level friends are people who support one another, have each other's back, care about one another and stand together in good times and in bad. Mackay is therefore doing exactly what is expected of a friend, particularly in the case of another western democracy that shares the same ideals and values as Canada.

Like Canada, Israel is a multicultural nation that is vibrant, democratic and striving to improve life for all its citizens. It is a nation that is productive in the spheres of economics, science, technology, agriculture and medicine, and whose humanitarian relief efforts are second to none in the world.

Canada's support for Israel and, in turn, Israel's support for Canada, is a natural consequence of these shared beliefs and has led to a mutually beneficial friendship. At a time when the Middle East is ablaze with the ongoing Arab storm, the horrific slaughter in Syria, the political strife in Egypt, terrorist activity in Gaza, the friction and fragility of the peace in Lebanon and the overarching threat of nuclear annihilation of Israel by Iran, Canada and its government refuses to be a passive bystander.

Through a show of support for the Jewish state -- including meetings by leaders of both countries at the highest levels, Canada has asserted itself as a mature nation that is willing to stand up and take the lead against hate and intolerance, as it did with the passage of the Ottawa Protocols against Antisemitism.

As a Canadian I am proud to see that we are standing by our friends, particularly those who value freedom and democracy as much as Canada does. Importantly, if democratic nations don't band together in mutual support to send a strong message to those who seek to destroy our values and impose their own, what will the consequences for our own freedom and that of future generations be? If western civilization is to survive, we must protect it -- here at home and wherever it is threatened.

As a Canadian I expect all parties, no matter who is in government, to uphold Canadian

principles; if we cannot support our friends and allies and people who share our values, who

are we as a country? This is not an issue of right or left wing politics, but a matter of standing

by our friends and the people who share our world view and want to preserve it. At some point

individuals and nations must stand up for their most cherished beliefs, and we found out

that Minister MacKay has done just that. All Canadians should feel proud.