October 14, 2006

Ignatieff's evolving position on Israel's atrocities

Michael Ignatieff is in a bit of a spin. First up he said that the Israeli atrocity at Qana wouldn't cost him any sleep. Then he decided that Qana was a war crime. Significantly (I think), his audience for the latter position was French-Canadian. I think there's more sympathy for the Palestinian cause among French speakers in Canada. Now, according to the Globe and Mail he's proclaiming his support for Israel whilst "slam[ming]" the Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, for calling him anti-Israel. But there's more.
Mr. Ignatieff took a political hit of his own as the wife of prominent Liberal MP Irwin Cotler announced that she has quit the party over Mr. Ignatieff's assertion that Israel committed war crimes.
So now Ignatieff has downgraded Qana from a war-crime to a "tragedy."
Mr. Ignatieff tempered his comments Friday, saying that while Israel's bombing of the Lebanese village of Qana last summer was a tragedy, it's up to international bodies to determine whether a war crime was committed.
It's a curious irony that I first remember Ignatieff railing against what he called "three minute culture" that he said was adversely affecting attention spans and, as a result of that, human intellect. The main source of this "three minute culture" was television and the soundbite. Now he's a politician and not a commentator and changes his mind every three minutes. Or to put it as mildly as the Globe and Mail did:
While Mr. Ignatieff's views on Qana evolved throughout the week, everything he has said recently is starkly different from his initial reaction in August, when he said he was “not losing sleep” over the more than two dozen civilian deaths in Qana.
"Evolved," got that? Twisted, turned, jumped through hoops or to put it another way, evolved.


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