David Frum on the waffles' waffling. Iffy can't even get a speech against anti Semitism right.
This is nothing new. Too bad iffy doesn't read Cotler much.
But think about Ignatieff’s words as a matter of moral principle. If Ignatieff were attending a conference on violence against women, would he dare suggest that there might be less such violence if women nagged their husbands less? Of course not. That would be outrageous. Yet that is what he had to say here.
Forced even-handedness suffused the speech.
Ignatieff talked movingly of visiting the firebombed Talmud Torah dayschool in Montreal in 2006. Fine. Good. He then immediately mentioned that he had also visited a mosque that had its windows broken. Also fine, we can all agree it’s wrong to vandalize mosques too. OK. But why mention the one immediately after the other? What relationship did these two events have to each other?
Would Ignatieff follow a description of an attack on a synagogue with a condemnation of crime by motorcycle gangs? A lament for bullied gay teens? That would be a clanging non-sequitur, another topic for another comment. Yet in the mind of Ignatieff’s team, anti-Semitism apparently cannot be condemned without immediately and equally condemning anti-Muslim prejudice.
That’s an interesting reflex, isn’t it? It suggests that someone is afraid of overdoing the anti-Semitism thing, somebody wants to balance condemnations of anti-Semitism lest anti-Semitism get more than its fair share of attention.
I may be very wrong about this, but to the ears of a former speechwriter, Ignatieff’s speech sounded very like it had been worked on by at least two authors. One author wished to sound a strong message of support to the Jewish community. The other author wanted to pull back.