Michael Shenstone

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Michael Shenstone
Michael Shenstone in 2012 -b.jpg
Born (1928-06-25) June 25, 1928 (age 89)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada[1]
Nationality Canada
Occupation diplomat
Known for played a role in the rescue of American diplomats in Iran

Michael Shenstone is a Canadian former diplomat.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

He served in a variety of senior diplomatic posts, including as Canada′s ambassador to Saudi Arabia; Canada′s ambassador to Austria; Canada′s representative to NATO - Warsaw Pact disarmament negotiations, and was the Department of Foreign Affairs director-general of African and Middle Eastern Affairs.[2][13] He also played a role in the rescue of six American diplomats who managed to evade being taken hostage during the 1979 Iranian revolution.[14][15]

In 1981, when he was an assistant under-secretary of state for external affairs, the Calgary Herald called him a bruised defender of Canadian Middle East Policy, quoting him from a conference on the Middle East.[16]

Israel and its partisans refuse to recognize or to feel in their bones the appalling historical experience of the Palestinian people, one of the tragedies of our time, especially since they too are a dispossessed people. Or perhaps they don't want to feel it. ... It is also regrettable that many Arabs don't recognize the appalling weight of history for the Jewish people, centuries of persecution, not just the holocaust, that generates an understandable obsession with the security of their state.[16]

In July 1986 Shenstone′s attendance at Kurt Waldheim′s inauguration as President of Austria, stirred controversy.[17] An editorial in the Ottawa Citizen reminded readers that Canada followed the British model of diplomatic relations, and ″Unlike the U.S., we do not use such events to express our approval or disapproval of the person or government concerned.″[18]

On November 15, 2012, Shenstone and American diplomat Robert Anders, compared their experiences with events of the Canadian caper, with how those events were portrayed in the recent feature film Argo.[14]


  1. ^ The Canadian Who's who. 21. University of Toronto Press. 1986. ISBN 9780802046321. Retrieved 2015-06-24. 
  2. ^ a b Sandra Martin (2011-01-22). "Emissary opened Canada's Beijing embassy: Ambassador to Poland during the Solidarity uprising was a maestro of witty asides". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2012-11-17. Michael Shenstone, former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and director-general of African and Middle Eastern Affairs, was Fraser's boss in the late 1970s. 
  3. ^ "Ken Taylor and the Canadian Caper". Government of Canada. 2012-10-30. Archived from the original on 2012-11-17. Retrieved 2012-11-17. Taylor's telegram set off a frenzy of consultation in the Department of External Affairs. The Director-General of the Bureau for African and Middle Eastern Affairs, Michael Shenstone, immediately concurred that Canada had no choice but to shelter the fugitives. 
  4. ^ "Richest monarch buried in unmarked grave". The Calgary Herald. 1975-03-26. p. 1. Retrieved 2012-11-17. Canada was represented by its ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Michael Shenstone. 
  5. ^ "Faisal assassinated". Montreal Gazette. 1975-03-26. p. 2. Retrieved 2012-11-17. Canadian ambassador to Saudi Arabia and U.S. Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller will attend the funeral. 
  6. ^ "External Affairs Middle East bureau in middle of shake-up". The Saturday Citizen. 1976-07-30. p. 37. Retrieved 2012-11-17. Michael Shenstone, the first Canadian envoy ever to be posted to a Middle East oil-producing country, is returning to Ottawa to become director-general of this increasingly important section. 
  7. ^ "Done super job". The Leader-Post - Jan 30, 1980. 1980-01-30. p. 55. Retrieved 2012-11-17. Michael Shenstone, director-general in the bureau of African and Middle Eastern affairs in the external affairs department said Taylor has shown himself to be sensible and relaxed under pressure. 
  8. ^ Peter Brimelow (1976-08-24). "Canada in hot campaign for rich Arab markets". The Financial Post. p. 1. Michael Shenstone, Canadas ambassador to Saudi Arabia, looks slightly bemused. He'd only extended a dinner invitation to any stray Canadian wandering around Riyadh on the eve of the state visit to the Saudi capital of External Affairs Minister Allan MacEachen. 
  9. ^ Polly King (1985-09-26). "TV journalist reaps rewards for kindness towards others". Ottawa Citizen. p. 69. Retrieved 2012-11-17. Also there were Michael Shenstone and his wife Susan, who are leaving in mid-October for Austria where he will be our ambassador (he was our ambassador to Saudi Arabia), and Esmond Butler, secretary to Gov. General Jeanne Sauve, with his wife Georgiana. 
  10. ^ "Canadian diplomats help determine fate of Namibia". Ottawa Citizen. 1977-04-25. p. 2. Retrieved 2012-11-17. Michael Shenstone, director-general of the division of Middle East and African affairs of the department of external affairs, and Paul-Andr Lapointe, minister-counsellor at the Canadian mission at the United Nations, will arrive here Sunday for what is expected to be a week or more of talks in Cape Town. 
  11. ^ "'Thank-you book praises Canada's courage in Iran". Montreal Gazette. 1980-03-04. p. 17. Retrieved 2012-11-17. Gotlieb repeated thanks to Taylor, who masterminded the Tehran escape, but added there were many others involved. He singled out for special mention E.P. Black, deputy undersecretary of state for external affairs, and Michael Shenstone, director-general of the African and Middle Eastern affairs bureau. 
  12. ^ Jeanne Pelletier, Claude Adams (1981-03-21). "Clark, MacDonald nearly spilled the beans". Montreal Gazette. p. 20. Retrieved 2012-11-17. Furious senior officials, including Michael Shenstone, ordered a drastic cut in the circulation of the summary, even within the Middle East division. But it was too late. Presumably, in dozens of offices in the Pearson Building, bureaucrats read about Ken Taylor and his "guests" and scratched their heads in bewilderment. What in God's name was it talking about? 
  13. ^ "New Ambassadorships". Orlando Sentinel. 1986-01-15. Archived from the original on 2012-11-17. Michael Shenstone, 57, will retain his job as ambassador to Austria while also becoming ambassador and head of the Canadian delegation to the Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction talks. 
  14. ^ a b Yukon Damov (2012-11-16). "Diplomats in Iranian hostage crisis discuss Argo: Spoiler alert: Hollywood fudged the facts". The Newspaper. Archived from the original on 2012-11-17. Wednesday night’s conversation between former diplomats Robert Anders and Michael Shenstone, hosted by the U.S. Consulate and the University of Toronto International Relations Society, was an exercise in displaying Hollywood’s manipulation of historical reality. 
  15. ^ Robert Wright (2010). Our Man in Tehran: Ken Taylor, the CIA and the Iran Hostage Crisis. Harper Collins Canada. ISBN 9781554688784. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 
  16. ^ a b John R. Walker (1981-06-30). "Middle East: Distorted images, savage realities". Calgary: Ottawa Citizen. p. 11. Retrieved 2012-11-17. A "bruised" defender of Canadian Middle East policy, assistant under-secretary of state Michael Shenstone, pleaded eloquently at the final session at the University of Calgary: 
  17. ^ "Jews furious at Canada′s role in swearing-in of Kurt Waldheim". Ottawa Citizen. 1986-07-08. p. 83. Retrieved 2012-11-17. The Jewish organization fired off an angry telegram to External Affairs Minister Joe Clark, expressing deep regret" at the attendance of Canadian Ambassador Michael Shenstone. 
  18. ^ "Our regards to Austria, not Waldheim". Ottawa Citizen. 1986-07-10. p. 10. Retrieved 2012-11-17. Canadian Ambassador Michael Shenstone attended this week's inauguration of President Waldheim not because Canada loves alleged Nazis but because Canada has excellent diplomatic relations with Austria.