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From Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s speech to the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem, Jan. 20:

stephen harper

Israel is the only country in the Middle East which has long anchored itself in the ideals of freedom, democracy and the rule of law.
And these are not mere notions.
They are the things that over time and against all odds, have proven to be over and over again the only ground in which human rights, political stability, and economic prosperity, may flourish.
These values are not proprietary,
They do not belong to one people or one nation.
Nor are they a finite resource.
On the contrary, the wider they are spread, the stronger they grow.
Likewise, when they are threatened anywhere, they are threatened everywhere.
And who threatens them, or more precisely, what today threatens the societies that embrace such values and the progress they nurture?
Those who often begin by hating the Jews.
But, history shows us, end up hating anyone who is not like them.
Those forces, which have threatened the State of Israel every single day of its existence, and which, as 9-11 graphically showed us today, threatens all of us.
And so, we either stand up for our values and our interests here in Israel, stand up for the existence of a free, democratic and distinctively Jewish state, or the retreat of our values and our interests in the world will begin.

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daniel Pearl “My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish.”

These were among the last words of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, murdered by terrorists. “I am Jewish” was more than just an affirmation of a simple fact. “I am Jewish” meant “My life has meaning and nothing you do will strip that away from me. Even if my life ends now, I have served a purpose.”

The parents of Daniel Pearl, Mr. & Mrs. Judea Pearl, when working on a book of essays inspired by Daniel’s last words, commissioned over 300 prominent Jews to reflect on what the phrase “I am Jewish” meant to them.

I think it is a question all of us could ask ourselves. What profound belief gives your life meaning? Years ago, while playing a parlour game, we were all asked to describe ourselves. My friend quickly answered “I am Catholic”. When I asked her why she answered in that way, she said that everything she had or was, stemmed from her Catholic faith. I have always heard that Joan of Arc’s last words were “Vive la France”!

I think Daniel Pearl’s very important legacy was to serve a purpose in life. Rest in peace Daniel Pearl.