Israel set to celebrate Harper visit

Stephen Harper lurched towards Israel early in his tenure as Prime Minister. REUTERS/Andrew Burton

Stephen Harper lurched towards Israel early in his tenure as Prime Minister. REUTERS/Andrew Burton

David Akin, Parliamentary Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 10:56 AM ET

OTTAWA -- Stephen Harper lurched towards Israel early in his tenure as Prime Minister.

It was July 2006. Harper, prime minister for only six months and next to no international experience, was on his way to his first G8 Summit in St. Petersburg.

As he left Ottawa, Israel was beginning its naval, aerial, and ground assault on Lebanon, an assault which brought quick criticism from several world leaders.

With Israel's diplomatic capital quickly drying up, reporters wanted to know what Harper thought of it all.

Harper came to the back of his plane where reporters had microphones ready and said Israel's assault was a "measured response" to the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers.

Hours later, eight vacationing Canadians, including four children, would die when they were hit by a missile fired by Israel as part of its "measured response."


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