The dreaded 10-foot pole analogy


“Canada has to support the right of a democratic country to defend itself. Israel has been attacked from Gaza, not just last year, but for almost 10 years. They evacuated from Gaza so there is no occupation in Gaza … Hamas is a terrorist organization and Canada can’t touch Hamas with a 10-foot pole. Hamas is to blame for organizing and instigating these rocket attacks and then for sheltering among civilian populations … Ultimately this thing has to end with an Israel that is recognized, is safe and secure … and living side-by-side in peace with a Palestinian state.”

Peter Kent, again?

Nope. Michael Ignatieff.

Coincidentally, the Guardian is presently reporting that the incoming U.S. president is considering something other than a pole-based approach to Hamas.


The dreaded 10-foot pole analogy

  1. Peace sounds like a great idea.

    • I’m surprised nobody thought of that. Peace. What a concept.

      During peace-time, rockets are landing on Israeli houses.

      • True, about those rockets. Meanwhile

  2. It’s not like this was unexpected. After all, you can’t lure many conservatives over to the Liberal Party by sounding like Jack Layton.

  3. Mr. Ignatieff’s comments make me proud to be a Liberal. Bravo.

  4. Bravo, Mr. Ignatieff. It’s reassuring that the leadership of both leading federal parties can share moral clarity on some issues.

    • Moral clarity?

      Surely you don’t really believe this?

  5. Ignatieff’s orthodoxy reminds me of “Empire Lite.”

    *shhh*, Micheal. This won’t be part of your legacy, so stop talking.

    • Michael noted that the state of Israel to has the right to defend itself against rocket attacks by terrorists. I’m not sure how this makes him “orthodox”.

  6. Complicated by the inconvenient fact that Hamas won a democratic election. Oh, well.

  7. Man…political and intellectual leadership has given rise to effete sycophants…

    If the international community could “encourage” Israel to decide what borders it wishes to have and draw a straight line to demarcate a clear-cut border, instead of the ridiculous patchwork of enclaves that exists now, and if Israel acceded to this fixed border for eternity, maybe just maybe there would be more of a chance for peace in the Middle East. But as it stands, the perception, rightly or wrongly, is that these enclaves are designed to encourage displacement of the Palestinians so that they can later be occupied by a growing Israeli state.

    The question of course is whether the religious zealots in Israel would be able to refrain from their primal desire to regain biblical lands without wanting to…oh I don’t know…call for the assassination of various political figures who would favour this kind of solution.


    • Too true, Austin. The settlements make the development of a contiguous West Bank impossible. Without that the Two State “solution” , tenuous at best, is gone.

      It’s hard to imagine a future any different from the present. Hamas, and probably Hezbollah, sending a few wobbly old rockets mostly into empty scrub but occasionally inflicting casualties on scattered Israeli border towns. And the Israelis responding in overwhelming force from time to time.

      And the Iggys of the world appealing to a domestic audience by pretending the existence of Israel is at stake.

  8. Thanks to BTC for reminding me why I reached the conclusions I did about Michael Ignatieff as far back as 2005.

    Introduced by Bob Rae, Ignatieff delivered an address (aired on CLT) to Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto that showed him incapable of even basic historical honesty, let alone the ‘moral clarity’ with which he’s been credited in this thread.

    This is a person, in short, without a serious, principled thought in his head about international affairs, his alleged forte.

    Why, given his record, he is taken seriously on the foreign affairs topics he publicly addresses truly baffles me.

    How does his current facile statement about the right of a ‘democratic country to defend itself’ differ at all from his equally shallow, dishonest and disatrous analyses of conflicts in the Balkans, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan and elsewhere?

    Someone, please tell me: why is this person taken seriously when he speaks on international affairs?

  9. I’m not sure I agree with how Ignatieff stated this either, but mostly I don’t care because Canada has zero influence on what goes on in the Middle East.

    I think our country would be best served by our leaders saying as little as possible about this issue.

  10. The Star article just contains a few excerpts of the exchange on the conflict. Ignatieff also said that although a military response to rocket attacks is justified, there is no military solution and that we need to focus on what comes after this and how this cycle will be broken.

    Like most, I have little confidence this cycle will be broken in my lifetime, but it is possible that Obama will try to do what he can to help break the cycle. If so, I have a lot more confidence in Ignatieff playing some supporting role in that regard, than I have in Harper.

  11. I must applaud Ignatieff’s take on this issue. It is a responsible stance in my opinion.

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