Anger as Canadian Parliamentarians Host Antisemitic News Editor
Canadian parliamentarians hosted an infamous Holocaust denier and newspaper editor on Tuesday at an International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People event hosted by the the Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Group.
Nazih Khatatba’s newspaper, al-Meshwar, has called the Shoah a “Holohoax” and once commended a Palestinian terrorist attack that killed a 16-year-old Israeli as a “quality operation.”
Khatatba reportedly met with cabinet official and transportation minister Omar Alghabra, Green Party MP Elizabeth May, and CPFG chair and Liberal Party MP Salma Zahid for the “celebratory event” in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa.
“Salma Zahid and the Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Group have serious questions to answer,” tweeted Documenting Antisemitism Canada (DAC), an advocacy organization. “Who invited Khatatba to this event? How did he obtain a security pass? What ties does this Parliamentary Group have to Meshwar Media?”
B’nai Brith, another Canadian Jewish rights group, has documented Khatatba’s antisemitic outrages for years, bringing attention both to his statements and al-Meshwar’s attempts to elevate politicians perceived as being amenable to its ideology. In 2017, the paper endorsed New Democratic Party (NDP) MP Niki Ashton, citing her support for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement and “pro-Palestinian positions.” Ashton later disavowed the endorsement.
Tuesday’s meeting comes just over a week after a provincial parliamentarian from Ottawa, Joel Harden, apologized for blaming Israel for violence in the Middle East and confronting his Jewish neighbors about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, following an outcry from Jewish organizations and local political leaders.
“I have asked many questions of Jewish neighbors here about, you know, how much longer should we put up with this?” Harden said at an event in 2021. “The single greatest origin of violence in the Middle East is unquestionably the state of Israel and the way in which they feel absolutely no shame in defying international law and doing whatever they want.”