(July 2, 2019 / JNS) A candidate for the Canadian Parliament has been ejected from her party for previous anti-Israel comments, including comparing the Jewish state to Nazi Germany.
Rana Zaman, a social activist and Muslim who won in May the New Democratic Party (NDP) nomination in Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, was ousted last week after several Twitter posts from last year denouncing Israel’s response to violent protests along its border with Hamas-controlled Gaza came to light.
“Unfortunately, due to language in social posts that was unacceptable, the candidate for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour has been removed as the NDP candidate,” said NDP national director Melissa Bruno in a statement. “We expect our candidates to engage on important issues respectfully.”
Shimon Koffler Fogel, president and CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, applauded the move.
“There can be absolutely no tolerance for anti-Semitism in our political system, regardless of party. The NDP has shown its commitment to fighting anti-Semitism by swiftly removing Zaman as a candidate as soon as the hateful tweets came to their attention. We commend them for taking swift action on the matter,” Fogel told JNS.
In a series of social media posts, Zaman blamed Israel for the deaths of Palestinian rioters, including also saying that Israel committed genocide against the Palestinians.
“If Israel is so advanced then why can’t they avoid shooting defenceless paramedics and journalists, unless they’re killing innocent people deliberately! “Israel’s injustice and arrogance can no longer be defended and people are wise to Israel’s tired old rhetoric,” she tweeted in June 2018.
If Israel is so advanced then why can’t they avoid shooting defenceless paramedics and journalists, unless they’re killing innocent people deliberately! Israel’s injustice and arrogance can no longer be defended and people are wise to Israel’s tired old rhetoric.
— Rana ZamanNDP (@ranazamanNS) June 4, 2018
“Thousands of Israelis came into Palestine and were welcomed when the world turned them away. Now they’re committing genocide against Palestinians because Israel is not willing to share! Tell me what are Palestinians supposed to do..just die..oh wait!They are!! Where’s your heart?” tweeted Zaman.
Thousands of Israelis came into Palestine and were welcomed when the world turned them away. Now they’re committing genocide against Palestinians because Israel is not willing to share! Tell me what are Palestinians supposed to do..just die..oh wait!They are!! Where’s your heart?
— Rana ZamanNDP (@ranazamanNS) June 4, 2018
In a tweet, captured in a screenshot by B’nai Brith Canada before it was deleted, Zaman compared Israel to Nazi Germany.
“I wonder if #Israel borrowed this from the #Nazis after they saw how successful they were?” she tweeted. “At the speed Israel is killing I wonder if they’re aiming higher than 6 million #Palestinians? #Gaza is the new #Auschwitz and #Israeli the gatekeepers!”
In a June 21 apology, Zaman said that she reached out to leaders and other members of the Jewish community and was “grateful to them for taking the time to share personal stories of the horrors their families suffered in the Holocaust.”
“I now appreciate that my tweets comparing Israeli actions to those of Nazi Germany were inappropriate, hurtful and sadly may be perceived as anti-Semitic,” she said in the statement. “I respect, empathize and care for all people regardless of color, religion and ethnicity, and have tried my best to support anyone in need and am therefore dismayed that my tweets may be perceived this way!”
“My intention was to raise awareness, engage others in a conversation and dialogue that would be productive,” continued Zaman. “Instead, I have inadvertently caused pain using such language and I humbly apologize for that.”
NDP has shown resistance to a pro-Israel agenda.
In February, the party opposed the updated Canada-Israel free trade agreement, citing that the accord doesn’t deal with Palestinian rights and doesn’t require labeling products made in Judea and Samaria, which NDP member Alexandre Boulerice called “illegal Israeli settlements.”
The Canadian elections are scheduled for Oct. 21.
If elections were held now, the Conservatives would win 35.1 percent of the vote, the Liberals 29.8 percent and NDP 13.8 percent, according to the latest CBC poll.
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