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Mutatis mutandis

Posted by Helen Wednesday, February 01, 2006

David Frum writes on the American Enterprise Institute website today about the new Canadian government’s first challenge in international affairs: how to deal with the newly elected Hamas led government in the Palestinian territories.

Of course, reading the paper one realizes that the real challenge is not in Ramallah but in Ottawa, where, predicts Frum, officials will try to persuade the new Prime Minister that business should be as usual in order to “retain credibility”, “influence the terrorists to stop being terrorists” and “help the people of Palestine”.

Most of the arguments in favour of dealing with terrorists and mass murderers (not least of their own people) who have not the slightest intention of changing their spots, are specious. We have heard them all before. Appeasement did not even work with IRA/Sinn Fein and there, at least, some indication of a change of policy was granted. With Hamas there is none.

So what’s Canada to us, you might say. Well, mutatis mutandis, can you not hear the same arguments being used by officials in the EU and various European countries?

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