It hardly seems possible that only 100 days ago, Stephen Harper was still the Prime Minister of Canada. Today, his name is rarely mentioned and he appears to be all but forgotten. But thanks to JNF Canada (and its tax free status), Mr. Harper’s legacy lives on in Israel. Read how
Stephen Harper was a great friend of Israel, as he said many times. His friendship included being very helpful to the Jewish National Fund of Canada (JNF-Canada) which gives tax deductions to Canadians who contribute through the JNF to various projects in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories.
In November 2015, I visited the Stephen J. Harper Bird Sanctuary with a group of Canadians. By that time, Mr. Harper had already been removed from office and his memory was starting to fade in Canada. But in Israel, thanks to JNF Canada and our tax free dollars, his memory lives on.
The Hula Valley Bird Sanctuary idea was first announced at a gala event in Toronto in 2013, attended by over a thousand enthusiastic supporters, Mr. Harper was feted by the JNF who offered to rename the bird Sanctuary in the Hula Valley in his honour.
NOTE: When Mr. and Mrs. Harper actually toured the bird sanctuary during his visit to Israel in 2014, it did not appear to bother him that the “Stephen J. Harper Hula Valley Bird Sanctuary” had a sorry history based on the dispossession and expulsion of Palestinian villagers. As I wrote at the time in a special column, Mr. Harper was more interested in the birds than the Palestinians.
Want to learn more about the JNF Canada? Independent Jewish Voices is organizing a cross Canada tour. Hear how JNF has spent Canadian tax dollars to build a park in Israel right on top of 3 destroyed Palestinian villages. Check for the times in your city.