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Putting a sock in them

It seems the Lebanese-Canadian Coordinating Council didn't want to follow the opposition party's plan. As everyone knows, on the issue of Israel's invasion, hyphenated Canadians from the Middle East are supposed to be singing from the same songsheet as the Liberals, Bloc and NDP. But Elias Bejjani, who was invited to speak to the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs committee, turned out to have another perspective. So they prevented him from speaking. Here's the LCCC's statement:

The LCCC, an umbrella organization for six non-profit Lebanese Canadian groups, strongly condemns the undemocratic political tactics that the Opposition Liberal, NDP and Bloc Quebecois parties executed yesterday during a hearing session for the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. The session was initiated by the Opposition parties to challenge the Conservative government’s Middle East policy and the evacuation of Canadians from Lebanon. Several groups and individuals applied to be witnesses and were accepted by the Clerk of the Committee. These witnesses traveled to Ottawa from across the country, but were unjustly prevented from delivering their statements. Among them was Mr. Elias Bejjani, LCCC Chairman and the Canadian Lebanese Human Right Federation (CLHRF) Spokesman, (a member in the LCCC coalition). It is astounding that although the hearing pertained to Lebanon, Opposition MPs deemed it appropriate to silence Lebanese witnesses.
To read the heresy that all three of Canada's opposition parties refused to allow to be entered into the Parliamentary record, follow this link. Hopefully, due to this sleazy bit of procedural trickery, Bejjani's words will get even more mileage.

(via the National Post)

UPDATE: The Canadian Coalition for Democracies was also told to go away by Alexa McDonough and friends. And you can see why if you read their prepared statement that they didn't get a chance to deliver. It pulls no punches:

In today’s terms, Prime Minister Harper recognizes that sacrificing Israel to the demands of a fascist enemy will not bring peace. Just as Hitler peddled his self-inflicted and self-serving grievances to gullible Western leaders and peace activists while pursuing his well-publicized charter, so too will Hamas and Hezbollah. And they will be further emboldened by the apparent weakness of today’s gullible Westerners.

In contrast to Prime Minister Harper’s moral clarity, we now hear former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence, Bill Graham, tell the Guardian newspaper on July 18, "Mr. Harper is proud of the fact he wasn't nuanced … Nuance has kept us in a position where we could help.”

Nuance? Does Mr. Graham actually believe that nuance will curb the homicidal ambitions of an organization that has amassed over 10,000 missiles and sent 1,500 of those missiles packed with flesh-shredding ball bearings into Israel, and done so from positions within densely populated Lebanese cities and towns? Does he believe that nuance is an effective weapon against an organization that is the heavily financed and armed proxy of Iran, whose president has called for the nuclear annihilation of Israel? It would be laughable were it not for the slaughter of innocents and the threat to Canada that flows from Mr. Graham’s deadly naiveté.

Mr. Graham actually believes that Israel should negotiate with an organization that his own government has designated as a terrorist entity. He is telling Israel that she must deal with Hezbollah, whose opening demand is the release of hundreds of prisoners with Israeli blood on their hands, starting with Samir Kuntar, a Palestinian whose gang kidnapped 4-year-old Israeli Anat Hanan and his father, and took them to Gaza where they smashed in the head of the child in front of his father before shooting the man to death. For this atrocity, Kuntar is a Hezbollah hero.

It is Prime Minister Harper, not Bill Graham, who is the honest broker, for honesty demands that we not be impartial between the fireman and the arsonist, to paraphrase Winston Churchill.

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