Harper Nobel Peace Prize nomination “a disgrace and insult”

A fast-growing online petition on Change.org is calling on the Norwegian Nobel Committee to reject Prime Minister's Stephen Harper's pending nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize for his unequivocal support of Israel.

by: Obert Madondo  | Published Tue, Sept 2, 2014

PM Stephen Harper during historic visit to Israel in January 2014. (Photo: PMO)
PM Stephen Harper during historic visit to Israel in January 2014. (Photo: PMO)

An online petition on Change.org is calling on the Norwegian Nobel Committee to reject Prime Minister’s Stephen Harper pending nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Meanwhile, Canadians reacting to the proposal seem to be echoing this fact: Harper is no Lester B. Pearson, the late Canadian intellectual, soldier, diplomat and former prime minister who was awarded the prestigious prize in 1957 for his role in resolving the Suez Canal Crisis.

Last week, Frank Dimant, the CEO of the B’nai Brith Canada, announced that his organization would nominate Harper for the prestigious award. Making what he believes is a strong case, Dimant said Harper had maintained “moral clarity” and “outstanding moral leadership” by unequivocally supporting Israel’s recent full-scale military operation in Gaza, code-named Operation Protective Edge.

“Moral clarity has been lost across much of the world, with terror, hatred and antisemitism filling the void,” said Dimant. “Throughout, there has been one leader which has demonstrated international leadership and a clear understanding of the differences between those who would seek to do evil, and their victims.”

Palestinian health officials estimate that more than 2,100 people, most of them civilians, were killed during the 50-day Gaza conflict. That includes 490 children. Israel lost 64 soldiers and six civilians. Speaking on Democracy Now! in July, Henry Siegman, the former executive director of the American Jewish Congress, described the deaths in Gaza as “a slaughter of innocents.”

Harper reads the situation differently. As soon as the conflict begun in early July, he reiterated his unequivocal support of Israel. He never changed his position.

“Canada is unequivocally behind Israel. We support its right to defend itself, by itself, against these terror attacks, and urge Hamas to immediately cease their indiscriminate attacks on innocent Israeli civilians,” Harper said in a statement. “Canada reiterates its call for the Palestinian government to disarm Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups operating in Gaza, including the Iranian proxy, Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”

Harper and Canadians are NOT on the same page:

A few post-ceasefire developments have tested Harper’s worth as a global leader and potential Nobel Peace Prize recipient.

For example, according to Ma’an News Agency, Israel announced Sunday it was grabbing 1,000 acres of “private Palestinian land south of Bethlehem in the southern West Bank.” Israel’s traditional allies immediately condemned the seizure, described by Haaretz as the “biggest West Bank land appropriation in 30 years.” The U.S. State Department called the appropriation “deeply concerning” and “counterproductive,” and urged Israel to “reverse the decision.” According to Peace Now, “the leading voice of Israeli public pressure for peace,” the seizure is “proof that Prime Minister Netanyahu does not aspire for a new ‘Diplomatic Horizon’ but rather, he continues to put obstacles to the two state vision and promote a one state solution.”

So far, Harper has said nothing. The Change.org petitioners see a monumental failure of Canadian leadership. One that cannot be celebrated with a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

“We the undersigned feel that the Norwegian Nobel Committee accepting the nomination from B’nai Brith Canada of PM Stephen Harper would be a disgrace and insult to your prestigious award,” says the petition, which has so far garnered 14,300 signatures.

A few more voices from the social media:




We’d probably never know what Frank Dimant was thinking when he nominated Harper for the Nobel Peace Prize. But we can find solace in the fact that similar ridiculous proposals have been made before. In July, the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, proposed that the Israeli army be give the Nobel Peace Prize for its Gaza operation.

Most importantly, we can find solace in the fact that Stephen Harper would never win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based progressive blogger, and the founder and editor of The Canadian Progressive. Follow him on Twitter.com/Obiemad

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Obert Madondo
Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based blogger, activist, photographer, digital rights enthusiast, former political aide, and former international development administrator. Obert is the founder and editor of The Canadian Progressive and The Zimbabwean Progressive, both of which are independent political blogs dedicated to producing fearless, progressive, adversarial, unapologetic, and activism-oriented journalism situated right at the intersection of politics, technology and human rights. Follow Obert on Twitter: @Obiemad
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  1. Damb good choice. Harper will go down as one of the greatest PM’s Canada has ever had. The people that find this an insult are usually the same . Liberals and Islamists that hate Harper for his support of Israel and have no moral compass themselves. ( Israel the only democratic country in the Middle East that has been standing up to terrorists like Hamas, and Muslim Brotherhood while the rest of the world has their head in the sand. Maybee now that they have to fight ISIS they will see what the Israelies have to deal with for many years.

    • Harper is “one of the greatest PM Canada has ever had”? According to the Toronto Star, 51% of Canadians oppose his unwavering support of Israel. #Opinion: http://on.thestar.com/1pUftiX . Recent opinion polls show that the Conservatives now trail both the Liberal and NDP. Earlier this week, former PM Brian Mulroney chastised Harper “on everything from foreign affairs to the PM’s dictatorship-style attack on the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. Earlier this week, the National Post’s John Ivison admitted: “Canadians grow tired of Harper while giving Trudeau benefit of the doubt.”

    • Harper is a disgrace to Canada Worse prime minister ever Canada had. He is a corporate shill and a warmonger.We Canadian dont want him in power anymore.

    • Very good letter John. Nominating our former Prime Minister for the Nobel peace prize is a very fine move and will remove some of the disgrace Nobel received after the award to Obama debacle.

    • A familiar insult. In 2012, the so-called Appeal of Conscience Foundation awarded Harper the “statesman of the year” award. Deep-pocketed special interests buying the conscience of the leader of a great country.

  2. Wish there was The most insincere,incompetent,power pursuing Leader Prize. Awarded by Canadians to Harper.

    • This appears to be an attempted “upgrade” of the “statesman of the year” award, bestowed on Harper by the so-called Appeal of Conscience Foundation in 2012. Another insidious case of a deep-pocketed special interest group trying to buy the conscience of the leader of a great country.

      • This nomination is not only bizarre, but also suspect. Do they think that Canadians will be so impressed by it that we will vote Harper back in, in 2015?

  3. Truthy Alert: Criticism
    of Israel’s
    apartheid crimes is ^NOT Anti-Semitism.

    Why is Canada’s
    right-wing Bush-lite Prime Minister Stephen Harper *SO* fanatical about
    supporting Israel
    bombing innocent Palestinian civilians?
    What’s the secret agenda at work here?

    ‎Surprise! It’s money: Canada
    does ONE BILLION DOLLARS of trade with Israel annually. Most of it military. Oh hello untendered gov. contracts and big
    bus. bribes.

    At the 5:30 mark.



    • Glad that you clarified things, Nadine. What cowardly and small-minded people often denounce as anti-Semitism is, in fact, justified criticism of Israeli. During a visit to Israel early this year, Harper made the absurd suggestion that criticizing Israeli policies is “the new anti-Semitism… It targets the Jewish people by targeting Israel.”

    • Teresa Spence was certainly not the best example to show when it comes to the rights of aboriginal people in Canada. Otherwise, it was not a bad interview.

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