Kennedy’s Hezbollah Headache

Liberal leadership contender Gerard Kennedy is getting support from some real characters…

Upon returning from Lebanon, Kennedy supporter Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Liberal MP for Etobicoke Centre) is suggesting that the Canadian government open relations with Hezbollah! The problem, according to Borys is that the group — that calls for the elimination of the state of Israel — is on the Canadian terrorist list. Ironically, it was Wrzesnewskyj’s party, when in government, that placed the group on the list!

Oh, about that:

While acknowledging the Liberals put Hezbollah on the terror list, Mr. Wrzesnewskyj said: “When you realize that a mistake has been made that does not provide for a solution, you don’t entrench your decision.” (National Post, August 21, 2006)

Classifying Hezbollah as a terrorist organization was a “mistake” according to this Liberal MP?

The solution according to Borys?

When asked if he was in favour of Hezbollah being taken off the terror list, Etobicoke Liberal Borys Wrzesnewskyj said: “Yes, I would be.” (National Post, August 21, 2006)

Surely he wouldn’t suggest negotiating with terrorists?

[Wrzesnewskyj] added that dialogue should begin between Canada and all the terrorist groups on the list. (Toronto Star, August 21, 2006)

Doesn’t negotiating with terror just validate the heinous acts of these extremist groups?

The Canadian government must begin direct talks with militant groups such as Hezbollah to effectively bring a peaceful end to conflicts like the one that has ravaged Lebanon this summer, Toronto Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj says. (Toronto Star, August 21, 2006)

Excuse me, Sheik Nasrallah? The Canadian envoy from Etobicoke Centre is here to see you about stopping your hate-fuelled jihad against Israel…

Does Borys also propose that we initiate talks with al Qaeda? Perhaps he also means that our diplomats should call up Osama bin Laden and broker a peace treaty?

So, Borys’ behaviour is quite confusing, especially since he supports a Liberal leadership candidate that has, in the past, called Hezbollah a group of “extremists”:

“I agree with the G8 call for “utmost restraint” on the part of Israel as it exercises its right of self-defense and I deplore the fact that extremists from Hezbollah and Hamas have once again hijacked the agenda in the Middle East.”

Does Kennedy still welcome support from Borys Wrzesnewskyj?

Further, consider these comments made today by Kennedy supporter Thomas Hubert. Hubert is the VP of Communications for the Young Liberals of Canada in BC. This young Kennedy supporter mused today on Jason Cherniak’s blog:

“The Liberal Party is stronger without these violent Zionists in our party. I am glad for them to cease influencing our foreign policy so we are free to promote Canadian values of peace. It amazes me that this community is so absurdly selfish. The only issue that matters to them is the defence of a “state” that survives on the blood of innocent people. Shameful.”

and on Fuddle Duddle, Thomas Hubert expresses his thoughts on Israel and Hezbollah:

“One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. At one point, George Washington was considered a terrorist by the powers that be. History will remember Hezbollah as an organization that stood up to the most vile “nation” in human history.”

Gerard Kennedy is a contender for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. It is troubling to discover that senior supporters of the Kennedy campaign have made these statements.

The Kennedy campaign should act to distance itself from these people.

UPDATE: Thomas Hubert has resigned as VP of Communications for the Young Liberals of Canada.

UPDATE: Here’s a picture of Kennedy and Hubert in better times. And just because this’ll last 10 seconds on Kennedy’s server, here it is cached just in case

UPDATE: Darcey is reporting what appears to be some flip-flopping/denials by Wrzesnewskyj:

Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj denied reports that he called for Hezbollah to be dropped from the terror list, but said the mission to Lebanon would have been aided if the delegates were able to have met with Hezbollah officials.

“I maintain my position that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization,” Mr. Wrzesnewskyj said, in a telephone interview from Damascus, Syria, where he and the other delegates will fly out from later. “I believe that having a list like that is a useful tool. What I have a problem with is the legislation around that list which says you cannot sit down and negotiate.” (Globe and Mail, August 21, 2006)