Canadian Parliamentary Candidate Apologizes for Antisemitic Claim That Israel Is Stealing US Coronavirus Vaccines
A Canadian parliamentary candidate apologized on Sunday after tweets emerged showing that she had claimed Israel was stealing coronavirus vaccines from the US.
Sidney Coles, a candidate for the left-wing New Democratic Party, made the comments in a reply to a Jan. 29 tweet saying that “millions of vaccines in America” were missing.
“Uh, I think Israel might be able to help you solve the mystery,” Coles replied.
In reply to another post on the subject, she said of the allegedly missing vaccines, “They went to Israel. I keep saying this.”
After the tweets surfaced on Sunday, the Canadian Jewish organization Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center called them “outrageous.”
“A retraction & apology for these false & offensive remarks, which have hurt members of the Jewish community, are in order,” said the FSWC.
“Coles’ comments are particularly concerning given the global rise in antisemitism — including ongoing efforts to blame Israel & Jewish people for creating, exploiting or worsening the coronavirus pandemic — & escalating incidences of Jew-hate in her Toronto-St. Paul’s riding,” the group added.
Shortly after, Coles apologized, saying, “In the past I posted unsubstantiated theories about vaccine supply linked to Israel. These comments weren’t based on evidence. I recognize this frame is a common antisemitic trope, though that was never my intent.”
“I should not have made this link and apologize and retract those statements,” she said. “I will continue to stand firmly against antisemitism, racism and discrimination in all its forms.”