JERUSALEM — Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was heckled on Monday by Israeli Arab lawmakers, one of whom stormed out as he addressed the Knesset.

The angry response to Harper, who is considered a staunch supporter of Israel, came after he called campaigns to boycott Israel the “new face of anti-Semitism.”

Jewish lawmakers in the Knesset, Israel’s 120-seat parliament, gave him a standing ovation.

Harper said it was “deplorable” that some in the international community still questioned Israel’s right to exist.

He condemned what he said was “selective criticism” against Israel in international forums, such as the United Nations and the Human Rights Council, where he charged Israel was being “singled out.”

He also expressed support for a viable, democratic Palestinian state living peacefully alongside Israel, which Canada would recognize after Israel did.


It was the first address by a Canadian prime minister to the Knesset.

Harper is on his first visit to the Middle East since taking office in 2006.

The warm welcome he received in Israel contrasted with reactions in the West Bank, where a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said “the current Canadian government has done everything possible to undermine Palestine’s international status and stand in the way of our right to self-determination.”


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