Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Liberal MP resigns over pro-Hezbollah comments

It's not really surprising that Liberal MP Boris Wrzesnewskyj was going to have to resign as the party's point person on foreign affairs, after suggesting that Canada ought to drop Hezbollah from the list of organizations sponsoring terrorism. No doubt this is going to give Stephen Harper reason to gloat and make fun of Les Deputés Rouges. The fact remains though that it should not have even been thought of in the first place as a serious talking point.

It took Canada ages to ban the Tamil Tigers. We also struggled for a long time trying to get around the proposition that Sinn Fein and the IRA were really one and the same. So why would anyone seriously believe that Hezbollah has a "good" side, doing community service work? That's how they get their recruits in the first place, as does any terrorist organization.

On a related note, I'm kind of getting weary of the line that a lack of support for Israel's policies automatically indicates anti-Semitism. The more accurate statement is that people who oppose Israel's right to exist as a country are the real anti-Semites. (Count Mel Gibson's father as just one of them, not to mention the President of Iran.) The lack of satisfaction within Israel itself about how the recent war went should be indicative. It's a majority Jewish state, so does asking questions about the war within the country make the Israelis themselves anti-Semitic? One can support a country while criticizing its foreign policy or its human rights record.

Using that line is like saying because one is opposed to televangelists, who control and dictate White House policy for the most part, he or she must be anti-American -- or if one lives in America, unpatriotic. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In these times, one must be really, willing and prepared to take unpopular stances; even those that oppose the status quo. At the same time, we don't need people like a certain MP making stupid remarks like the ones he made. Little wonder why Gerry Swartz and Heather Reisman gave up on the Liberals. I'm going to have to check which leadership candidate Wrzesnewskyj endorsed -- may make me think twice about voting for him or her.

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