Stephen Harper: Flowers, Flags, Honor Guards and More
Normally, only presidents of countries and a King or Queen would have their national flags hanging on major streets for an official state visit to Jerusalem, Israel.
This week, however, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has received that and much more for a royal welcome.
His speech in the Knesset got several standing ovations. The Prime Minister of Canada in front of the world said that Canada would go through fire and water to stand with Israel? WOW!
Not only were flags and flowers put out for the Prime Minister of Canada and his wife,
but also red carpets lined with honor guards . (Please note all pant legs for men are tucked into boots, while women wear cute little white socks. Israeli dress style does not have pants with neat, sharp creased cuffs.)
But there is more – Israel went the whole kit and caboodle for the visiting Canadians.
A mound of sushi at one of many food stations was just part of the repast for guests at the Israeli Prime Minister’s office for the official welcome. (Ok, I still have not recovered from shock of 10 shekel charge for water at Obama’s speech in Israel last year.)
For the Harpers’ visit, Israeli politicians stood quietly, waiting in a reception line,
and dressed in very ‘unIsraeli’ style, with dark suits, pressed dress shirts and blue-striped ties.
Well… almost all the men wore a suit and tie.
For the Harpers, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat stood along with leaders of various religions, and waited in the very long reception line.
First, they stood and listened to an Israeli army band play the anthems, O’Canada and Hatikvah.
No, the prime ministers were not holding hands as they walked the red carpet. But this visit certainly has given Israeli PM much to smile about.
From red carpet welcome with big brass band
to official limo service into and out of the welcoming ceremony,
Prime Minister Stephen and Laureen Harper have received as royal and stylish a welcome as little Israel with big heart can put on.
Israel went the whole nine yards to say thank you.