Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bob Rae on Gaza

A somewhat more nuanced position(source Question Period), which should become official Liberal policy:

"We all want to see a resolution, to what is becoming an increasing tragic situation, in terms of the loss of civilian life, which is VERY, VERY high at the moment. But, I think we have to fair and clear minded about how we go about this, and that is pushing a durable ceasefire. Canada has to be doing everything diplomatically, with the Egyptians, with our friends and allies around the world who share this perspective. That perspective has clearly been put forth by the United Nations. I mean, it's not everyday that you get a Security Council resolution that's endorsed by all of the great powers of the world. We should be PUSHING HARD on that basis, to get to a ceasefire."

An acknowledgement of a worsening human tragedy, with a strong emphasis on "pushing hard" for an immediate ceasefire. That view distinguishes the Liberals from the government, who have been completely absent on the world stage, content to present a one-sided view, that barely mentions the real toll, with no forceful push on a ceasefire. I would describe Rae's view as more representative of mainstream Canada and I would hope our "official" position demands an immediate ceasefire, which clearly supercedes any of the underlying philosophical positions, as to who is justified and who deserves blame.


Mark Dowling said...

"it's not everyday that you get a Security Council resolution that's endorsed by all of the great powers of the world."

I suppose in this context a US abstention does count as an endorsement...

From the linked article: Rice suggested the Council should have withheld action until Egypt's mediation effort had produced some specific steps to curb arms smuggling to Hamas.

She also said the Bush administration was concerned that the measure seemed to draw an equivalence between Israel, a U.N. member state, and Hamas, a non-state actor, listed by the United State as a terrorist organization.

"Here you have a terrorist organization and a member-state, Israel, and there isn't any equivalence here. Israel was defending itself because of these (Hamas) rocket attacks. Yet, we are concerned about the suffering of the people, the humanitarian situation, and we're doing everything we can to alleviate that, as well," she said.

Tom said...

policy for Iggy to say one thing and Rae the other and both to be seen as the 'official party position'?

James Curran said...

Perhaps the leader of the Opposition could make a similar "official" statement...not that my opinion is relevant.

Steve V said...


In this case, an abstention counts as a ringing endorsement.

RuralSandi said...

Things have escalated since Iggy spoke and Rae wouldn't be saying this without the okay.

Let's stop the sniping - it's getting tiresome.

I saw Obama interviewed this morning and I think there's going to be a change from Bush's handling of this. Until such time, nothing Canada or any other country says will have much relevance.

I find the timing of this odd - Bush will be gone in 9 days. Why did they wait until the last days of Bush's tenure. Coincidence? Maybe, but curious.

James Curran said...

I'll wait for the "new official" position of the Liberal Party of Canada then. I'm certain it'll come soon.

sassy said...

There is a letter (linked to on a few other blogs today) in the Guardian which also focuses, without assigning blame and/or taking sides, on a real and, long term solution.

I think these examples (this post and the letter) . . . calm, thoughtful, and moderate, will go a lot further (in fact may be the only route) to ending the devastating violence and loss of life.

Dr.Dawg said...

What is Cherniak saying? That's key.

Anonymous said...

Everyone (outside the conflict) wants to see a ceasefire, but what do you do when neither side in the conflict is interested in one? If BOTH sides want to fight, then there is bugger all anyone can do about it - short of physically intervening. (Who wants to step between Israel & Hamas - anyone? ...anyone?)

The bottom line is that you can't impose a ceasefire on parties that don't want it. Furthermore, neither side really cares what the rest of the world thinks. The situation is tragic, but nothing will change until/unless one side decides they have had enough.

janfromthebruce said...

That view distinguishes the Liberals from the government, who have been completely absent on the world stage, content to present a one-sided view, that barely mentions the real toll, with no forceful push on a ceasefire.

That's Rae's view and is markedly different from Iggy's which is backing up Israel no matter what.
Rae's statement showed "class", Iggy's statement showed "elitism." But then I couldn't never image Bob Rae thinking a bit of torture was ok or advocating illegal invasions and occupation.

Anonymous said...

janfromthebruce summed up Ignatief's biggest liability: "elitism". And the likes of Kinsella et al are only going to reinforce this.

Joyce said...

Rae has the right emphasis. This is a welcomed development.

The Mound of Sound said...

The Liberal Party's policy is irrelevant unless it reflects the actual attitudes within Israel which, in case you're wondering, no longer gives a dam about foreign opinion. Read the Jerusalem Post. It's stomach churning. Then read this piece from the Guardian/Observer:

Anonymous said...

I pray for the day when people can criticize the racist apartheid ideology of zionism, without fear or reprisal of the self-appointed jewish groups.

Steve V said...


If it's any consolation, I'm irrelevant too :)

Mark Dowling said...

@Doyen: "(Who wants to step between Israel & Hamas - anyone? ...anyone?)"

Excellent question. Who wants to do a Michael Moore at the next "peace" rally and bring a sign up sheet to join a Peacekeeping Force?

@Anonymous: it must be so sad to have so little courage behind such snide opinion.

As for the Rae comment itself and the Ignatieff one that preceded it - the country doesn't need a Obama vs Hillary/Pennsylvania Avenue vs Foggy Bottom media frenzy within the LPC - it needs a single LPC voice holding Harper to account.

The very next time Ignatieff or Rae speaks on Israel, it should be in the company of the other, within camera shot, nodding approvingly.

Anonymous said...

@mark: if you have a rational argument, then prove my opinion wrong instead of cowardly ad-hominem.

How is a policy that necessitates ethnic nationalism anything but analogous to apartheid? Many leading academics are critical of zionism, does that make all of us snide, or just anyone who disagrees with you, or what you wish to be the party line?

How is the dispropprtionate power, influence and legitimacy of the Israeli lobby anything but self-evident then?

If this wouldn't be the case, then people would be free to be more vocal in their legitimate criticism of Israel, without fear of reprisals. This is self-evident, look at what happened to members of the Liberal party who were critical of Israel's behavior in Lebanon in 06. Even look at how Svend Robinson almost lost his job in the NDP for similar criticisms of Israel.

Take a look at the flack Iggy himself got for being legitimately critical of Israel in its war on Lebanon

Anonymous said...

On his blog Curran says that Rae calls for a "quick" ceasefire. In truth, Rae has called for a durable ceasefire which is much different.

It is the same position as Rice and Ignatieff.

Curran has gone out of his way over the past 2 weeks to become a harsh critic of Israel. He posts are all negative all the time about Israel. He resorts to dubious sources and now even misquotes Bob Rae.

Curran has become desperate to "prove" his views. He has failed.

James Curran said...

Actually anonymous coward, Bob Rae says that we shuld be backing the UN motion. That motion asks for an immediate ceasefire.

It's not like I didn't post the link for you to listen to Bob. I guess your powers of hearing are good for shit.

Now crawl back into your troll hole.

Anonymous said...


Rae clearly says on the link you provided to his interview that he wants a "durable" ceasefire and not a "quick" ceasefire as you have posted.

You have misled readers of liblogs.

Rather than apologizing you tell me to crawl into a hole, use some profanity and call me a coward.

You've had a couple of tough weeks.

Perhaps it is best that you are leaving liblogs.

You once posted interesting blogs. These past two weeks have been nothing but rants and doing what ever you can to trash those who have different views then you.

You need a rest.

James Curran said...

9:18. The Security council's resolution. Perhaps you need a hearing aid. And yes, you are a coward. Anyone with an opinion that means anything should feel comfortable blogging with their own name instead of as an anonymous poser.

Anonymous said...

Give it a rest Curran - You lied on your blog and put words in Rae's mouth.

Shame on you.

James Curran said...

Fuck your hat coward. I don't lie. You are a coward.

Anonymous said...

You did lie and you are not even man enough to admit your mistake.

Rae never said "quick" ceasefire, he said "durable" ceasefire.

You lie and lie and then use profanity.

You have no place on liblogs, it is good that you are leaving.

Good riddance.

Take a break, a beer and catch your breath.
You need a rest.

James Curran said...

Now you're illiterate as well. I never quoted Bob as saying that. Can't read? Bob wants us to take the UN security council's resolution. What is the resolution genius? For an "immediate ceasefire". Show me where I quoted Bob. You're the liar. And still a coward.

Anonymous said...


Here is the sentance taken from your blog:

" Bob thinks Canada should be part of the group looking for a quick ceasefire "

Ready to apologize?????

You really need a break!

James Curran said...

There's no quotation marks on that coward. What part of we should be backing the UN Security resolution don't you get. Ready to screw your hat???????????

Anonymous said...

You said Bob thinks we should have a quick ceasefire. He said no such thing/

That is a lie.

Be a man and admit you misled liblog readers!

If you can't, its time for you to quit the party too.

James Curran said...

Tough words for anonymous clusterfuck like yourself. Were you "afraid" to have this conversation on my blog you coward? Get back to us when you learn to read and listen.

It's 1100 time for you to get your jammies on and get to bed. It's a school day tomorrow.

Anonymous said...


Your acting like a juvinile.

Seems clear you have been caught.
Either go to bed or admit your post was not factual.
The more you rant and rave the more you prove your guilt.

James Curran said...

Don't you think you've wasted enough of Steve space with your cowardly, anonymous diatribe you infant?

You want to comment on my Rae post, come on my blog and discuss it. Oh. You can't. I don't allow posers.