Canada's Neville Chamberlain
By Elias Bejjani

August 24./06

The Lebanese Canadian Committee in Canada is not actually surprised with the tunnel vision statements attributed to Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) Borys Wrzesnewskyj during his current visit to our homeland Lebanon. Mr. Wrzesnewskyj had been quoted as calling on the Conservative Canadian government to negotiate with Hezbollah, the fundamentalist organization that has been on Canada's terror list since 2002. Reports from Lebanon had also mentioned earlier on Monday August 21 that a bipartisan committee currently on a fact-finding mission in Lebanon suggested that dropping Hezbollah from Canada's list of terrorist organizations would help in negotiating peace. The bipartisan committee included members of the three opposition parties, Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj, NDP MP Peggy Nash, and Bloc Quebecois MP Maria Mourani.

The above three respectable opposition MPs did in fact exhibit their parties' one-sided and biased stances vis-a-vis the Lebanese dilemma on the first of this month. As members of the Foreign Affairs Committee, they voted not to allow representatives of numerous Lebanese Canadian Organizations, including our LCCC group and the Maronite Catholic priest in charge of Saint Antonio's Monastery of Montreal, to deliver their statements during the Committee's Hearing Session on the government's Middle East policy and the evacuation of Canadians from Lebanon.

Resorting to the same kind of argument used by the three MPs, we inquire if negotiating with al-Qaeda's Osama Bin Laden would, in their own perspective, help to bring peace to Afghanistan, Iraq and other troubled countries in the world? We are not sure if the statements uttered have infringed on the Canadian Terrorist Act or not, but what we are very sure of is that such stances do not help peace in Lebanon or in the Middle East.

We call on the members of our Lebanese Canadian Community in Canada to look thoroughly into the kind of positions addressing peace in our homeland Lebanon that have been adopted by the Liberal Party in particular, and the other two opposition parties in general, and accordingly cast their votes in the coming Federal elections.

Meanwhile, LCCC applauds Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day's position who rejected the notion that dropping Hezbollah from the terror list would aid in negotiating peace in the Middle East. We appreciate very much his clear and straightforward statement in which he said: "To preserve Canada's credibility, there is no way we will delist Hezbollah, and I hope these MPs deny these remarks outright or claim they were taken out of context."

*Elias Bejjani
 Chairman for the Canadian Lebanese Coordinating Council (LCCC)
 Human Rights activist, journalist & political commentator.
 Spokesman for the Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation (CLHRF)

  LCCC Web Site
 CLHRF Website

*The lccc is a Federal umbrella for the following nonprofit municipal, provincial and federal Canadian registered groups:
 Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation,  (CLHRF),  Canadian Lebanese Free Patriotic Movement (FPM-Canada), Phoenician Club of Mississauga (PCOM),/Canadian Phoenician Community Services Club (CPCSC),Canadian Lebanese Christian Heritage Club (CLCHC),World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU)-Canadian Chapter.