Photo Rights Reserved to PM Stephen Harper
By: Ariella Linovski
Every image conveys a message. Especially in the world of Canadian politics, where every photo is meant to persuade.
Here is a photo of Prime Minister Harper and his wife Laureen Harper lighting a menorah on Chanukah at his home with a rabbi. What might the Prime Minister want to convey with this photo? What message is he trying to project?
Some possibilities include:
- I’ve converted to Judaism and this is pretty fun!
- Laureen and I do things together. We love each other.
- I am a friend of Jewish people. I support the Jewish community.
While the third point is likely the intended message, the PM has made one large PR blunder with this photo. Prior to his foray into being a Jew for the day, our dear friend’s communications people did not do proper research.
As a result, Prime Minister Harper is lighting the menorah incorrectly. During Chanukah, Jewish people are supposed to light the middle raised candle first, and then use that candle to light the rest. Maybe the rabbi in the photo was too modest to have the heart to tell the PM he was doing it wrong. I guess it doesn’t actually matter since Harper isn’t Jewish. But any Jew who has ever lit a menorah will say “Hey, this dude is lighting the menorah wrong.” Not exactly the best move when you are trying to convey that you go out for beers and falafel with the Jewish community.
Nonetheless, we should all thank the PM for teaching us a great PR lesson. Don’t try to be someone you are not. You might end up looking silly.
Next time instead of doing a religious ritual that only Jewish people generally do, the PM should attend a Chanukah party to show his support for the Jewish community. He will get to eat delicious greasy food. And his PR people won’t have to clean up a PR mess.