The Other Side Speaks Out

As the fighting in Lebanon seems to intensify tensions elsewhere in the world are beginning to run high. Here in Canada supporters on both side of the issue are starting to make some noise. First, we had the Canadian Arab Federation blaming Prime Minister Harper for the deaths of 8 Canadians in Lebanon. In a pre-press conference release the CAF said,
"The Canadian Arab Federation holds Prime Minister Stephen Harper responsible for the death of 8 Canadians in Lebanon.

While Israel was bombarding Lebanon, terrorizing and killing civilians and destroying the infrastructure of the country, Harper appallingly was quoted a saying that these Israeli war crimes are a "measured response" to the capture of 2 Israeli soldiers.

It is outrageous that a Canadian Prime Minister would justify Israel's brutal assault against Lebanon when such action has resulted in the death of hundreds of Lebanese civilians including the murder of 8 Canadians.

The Canadian Arab Federation will be holding a press conference within 48 hours to condemn Harper's support for Israel which emboldened it to continue committing war crimes against the Lebanese people."
One cannot stress enough the lunacy of such a statement. What an outrageous and irresponsible thing to say. I condemn the CAF for allowing politics to cloud their judgment and for making such baseless and stupid remarks.

Then we had the rally in Montreal where some members of Canada's Lebanese community came out to show support for Lebanon by waving little Hezbollah flags. They even decorated a car with Hezbollah colours. No word on if prizes were awarded. Of course the event would not have been complete without an inflammatory speech by some nutbar.

But alas all is not lost. We actually have some sane people in this country. An open letter addressed to Stephen Harper from representatives of no less than 6 Canadian Lebanese organizations appeared in today's National Post.
We, the undersigned, representatives of the six Lebanese organizations listed below, extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Canadian government, represented by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter MacKay, for the correct, just and prompt positions they have taken with regard to Lebanon and the unfortunate military confrontations that are occurring on its soil as a result of the reckless hostile actions of Hezbollah. Those actions violate the will of the Lebanese people and the decisions and authority of the legitimate government of Lebanon.

The actions and conduct of Hezbollah are extremely harmful to the interests of Lebanon and the Lebanese people, and obstruct progress of the peace process in Lebanon specifically, and in the Middle East in general.

We also thank the government for its wise and effective efforts with respect to its handling of all measures for the evacuation of Canadian citizens from Lebanon, the safeguarding of their security, and their safe return to Canada.

We call on the Canadian government to continue its interventions through the United Nations and the Security Council to secure an immediate truce in Lebanon based on UN Resolution 1559, which explicitly calls for the disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias, the deployment of the Lebanese army along the border with Israel, and the extension of the authority of the Lebanese government over all Lebanese territory.

Signatories: Elias Bejjani, Lebanese Canadian Coordinating Council (LCCC); Toni Mouanis, Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation (CLHRF); Noel Haddad, Phoenician Club of Mississauga (PCOM); Khalil Kaekati, Canadian Phoenician Community Services Club (CPCSC); Charbel Constantine, Canadian Lebanese Christian Heritage Club (CLCHC); Colonel Charbel Barakat, World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU)-Canadian Chapter.
What a wonderful letter and proof positive that not everyone shares the same narrow view of the world.

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