Presidents Conference to Honor Harper

Canada’s prime minister is being honored by a leading Jewish umbrella group for his country’s support of Israel.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations will present Stephen Harper with its inaugural International Leadership Award. Canada’s Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas) Peter Kent is slated to attend Thursday’s reception and ceremony in New York to accept the award on behalf of the prime minister.

The group said it is expressing appreciation for Canada’s “courageous stands” on next year’s so-called Durban II anti-racism conference, which Ottawa announced earlier this year that it will boycott. It also lauds the nation’s “support for Israel and [its] efforts at the U.N. against incitement and … the delegitimization [of Israel], where they have taken a role in the forefront,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice-chairman of the conference.

However, a published report said this year marks the first since Harper became prime minister in 2006 that Canada “has not incrementally shifted” its voting in the U.N. toward Israeli positions on many Middle East-related resolutions.

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