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Watch: Canadian PM Belts Out 'Hey Jude' During Visit To Israel

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made his first visit to Israel this week. His staunch support of the country has garnered much attention, but today, what's making news is a video of Harper serenading Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a rendition of the Beatles Hey Jude on Tuesday night.

The video was posted on Netanyahu's YouTube page:

The Globe and Mail reports that Harper has been practicing:

"Mr. Harper had performed the same song last month at a Toronto fundraiser, the Jewish National Fund's 2013 Negev Dinner, right after he announced the trip to Israel.

"The Canadian prime minister occasionally sings Beatles tunes in public, ever since he appeared on stage with cellist Yo-Yo Ma at a black-tie gala at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa in 2009."

If you're interested in the politics of Harper's visit, The Economist has an excellent overview. The gist:

"The Conservative prime minister has abandoned Canada's more nuanced policy towards the region under which it supported Israel but did not openly denigrate its neighbors as 'a region of darkness', as Mr Harper did in a speech late last year. His open skepticism about US-led negotiations with Iran over nuclear development hews more to the line taken by Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, than to that of Canada's American and European allies.

"There are about 329,000 Jews in Canada, compared with just over 1m Muslims, so the electoral advantages of such a pro-Israel stance are not obvious. The economic advantages are also slight. Although Canada has had a free-trade agreement with Israel since 1997, total bilateral trade of C$1.4 billion ($1.3 billion) is less than what Canada and the United States trade in a single day."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Source: NPR

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