Hezbollah terror tag doubted
The Windsor Star
Wed 23 Aug 2006
Byline: Trevor Wilhelm
MP Joe Comartin (NDP — Windsor-Tecumseh) says he’s doubted Hezbollah’s designation as a terrorist group since Canada labelled it a banned terror organization in 2002.
"I had serious doubts about it from the material I was presented," said Comartin. "It seems to me there was serious doubt whether or not they would have met the test if it had been challenged."
Etobicoke Liberal Borys Wrzesnewskyj and New Democrat Peggy Nash from Toronto, two MPs on a fact-finding mission in Lebanon, were reported to have said over the weekend that Canada should drop Hezbollah from its list of terrorist organizations to aid the peace cause. Wrzesnewskyj later denied making the comments.
Essex MP Jeff Watson said it would be "irresponsible" to take Hezbollah off the terrorism list.
"I support the listing of Hezbollah as a terrorist group, that was our party’s position," he said. "Hezbollah has a long history of terrorist actions and intolerance toward Israel. They’re not talking about negotiating peace. In order to have peace, both sides must want peace. A terrorist group committed to the obliteration of Israel can’t be a partner in peace."
Whether you think they’re terrorists or not, Comartin said, it’s pretty hard to go back now that Hezbollah is on the list.
"Our position is that it would now be very hard to ever consider removing them from the list," he said. "You would have to establish they were not a terrorist group. You’d have to prove the negative. If you’re going to have that fight, you should have it at the beginning. But the international community has to work out some mechanism for dealing with them."