Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left, is winning praise from former vice-presidential candidate and controversial politician Sarah Palin, right, for Canada's support of Israel. Canadian Press/Associated Press
Former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is heaping praise on Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his "exemplary" support of Israel and scolding the media for not paying more attention.
Palin, whose public comments on various issues often attract attention, wrote a message on her Facebook page that linked to an article on the website of Breaking Christian News about Harper's visit to Israel and his support for the country since he became prime minister in 2006.
"Thank you to our good neighbours led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper for their exemplary support of our friend Israel," she wrote. "As significant and dangerous progress is made by Iran no doubt wanting nukes, and with the continued threats against Israel by radicals in the region, Canada's steadfastness is praiseworthy."
Palin went on to say that Israel deserves more attention than the controversy over Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman's post-game rant on Sunday.
"Friends, this issue, along with innumerable domestic failures of government, should warrant more concern and focus than things like, oh, say, how a Seattle Seahawk verbally ramped up after intense competition and hard fought victory," Palin wrote.
"Hold the media accountable as its priorities in coverage perhaps distract from real issues that actually affect your life. Hold government accountable. Let's do our own homework in order to know how the actions of leaders worldwide impact America."
Harper on first trip to Israel
Harper is on his first trip to the Middle East as prime minister and has received a warm welcome from Israeli officials. He was heckled, however, during a speech to Israel's parliament on Monday by Ahmad Tibi and Abu Arar, two Arab-Israeli members of the Knesset from a small coalition party called Ra`am-Ta`al-Mada.
They walked out partway through the speech as Harper spoke out against what he said is anti-Semitic criticism of Israel. The remaining legislators gave Harper multiple standing ovations.
During his speech, Harper spoke of strong ties between Canada and Israel and Canada's Jewish community. Harper said Canada "unequivocally" supports Israel's right to self-defence and finds it "deplorable" that some still question Israel's right to exist. He gave a strong defence of Israel and said that Canada also supports "a just and secure future for the Palestinian people."
Harper's visit is garnering little coverage or praise in the Israeli media, but Palin is a fan of the prime minister's support and her Facebook message has been shared more than 2,000 times, attracted more than 24,000 "likes" and generated hundreds of comments.
"And thank you, friends to (my) East! It's wise and prudent for Canada and America to stand together against evil that would seek to destroy Israel," she concluded in her Facebook message, which included a photo of her with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Palin also generated headlines on Monday because of a Facebook message marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day that was directed at President Barack Obama. "Mr. President, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and all who commit to ending any racial divide, no more playing the race card."
She didn't elaborate on her "race card" comment, but the New Yorker magazine published an article on its website on Monday that profiles Obama and includes remarks from him on his race and how it affects his standing with voters.
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