Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Hezbollah’s Threat to Canadians

The events of the past week in Lebanon and Israel remind us of just how interconnected Canada is with the rest of the world, where actions overseas have a real and sometimes all-to-direct impact on the lives of many
Canadians. In this light, I have expressed my condolences and sincerest regards to the families of those Canadians killed over the weekend, and my hopes for safe return and best wishes to all others with family in the
region.

Like every other Middle East conflict, this latest clash will hit the most vulnerable civilians the hardest on all sides. Our immediate priority should be evacuating Lebanon of all Canadian citizens as quickly as possible.

It’s clear that Hezbollah’s military and political leaders saw an opportunity to cause bloodshed, uproot civilians and possibly ignite a regional war. Israel, by any measure, is well within its rights to defend itself in a measured and
effective manner.

Until Hezbollah and Hamas stop firing rockets into Israeli territory and ambushing Israeli military posts to kidnap Israeli soldiers, you can count on their actions to lead to more bloodshed.

It’s hard to see how diplomacy can work in this environment, but Canada has the opportunity to be a world leader in bringing peace to this current conflict. I believe that a ceasefire is a precondition for peace in the area accompanied by the return of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers.

Any peace in the Middle East must be built on a mutual recognition and respect for human rights and security, as well as the legitimacy of those involved. Everyone must work together to combat those that trade in hatred, terror, and violence.

I firmly believe this must be the basis for any lasting peace. As we have in the past, Canada is able to help with this, so long as we don’t sacrifice our hard-earned reputation for fairness in diplomatic matters.