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Charlie Angus and Leah Gazan promoted false allegation Israel refused to inoculate Palestinians

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Canadian Parliamentary socialists Charlie Angus and rookie colleague Leah Gazan appallingly promoted a false UK news story insinuating Palestinians were being denied access to the Covid vaccine by Israel.

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An anti-Israel article in The Guardian drew vociferous support from two members of the federal New Democratic Party caucus – and when the story was proven to be fake news, outraged representatives of the Jewish community put NDP leader Jagmeet Singh on the hot seat.  

The Guardian newspaper story implied that Israel’s rollout of COVID-19 vaccines was wrongfully excluding Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and progressive icons and international scoundrels alike leapt on the opportunity to demonize the Jewish State on Twitter. At the front of the line was Linda Sarsour, who quoted the 2021 version of the blood libel directly from the article:

“Israel transports batches of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine deep inside the west bank. But they are only distributed to Jewish settlers, and not the roughly 2.7 Million Palestinians living around them who may have to wait for weeks or months.”

Sarsour then set the tone for the mob that follows her, spewing more lies: “Israel’s COVID vaccination program is apartheid, plain and simple. Israel; withholding vaccines from Palestinians in occupied territories is disgraceful. Callous and murderous. Anyone who defend this is a monster.”  

Taking their cue from Sarsour, six term NDP Member of Parliament Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) and rookie MP Leah Gazan of Winnipeg each promoted the hate-fest to their far-left loyalists.

Angus simply tweeted “This is appalling. #apartheidstate”. Gazan, an aboriginal radical who claims Jewish heritage, retweeted the article with her own baseless opinion that Israel was “excluding people from being vaccinated based on discriminatory decisions and a clear violation of human rights”.

Their smears fell apart almost instantly, when compared to a Jerusalem Post report on December 21 that the P.A. “have not approached Israel for help in obtaining COVID-19 vaccines and are planning to purchase them on their own with the help of the international community.”

A senior official explained “We are not a department in the Israeli Defense Ministry. We have our own government and Ministry of Health, and they are making huge efforts to get the vaccine.”

A Jewish MP from the ruling Liberal Party also refuted the smear by Angus.  Ya’ara Saks, newly elected in York Centre, wrote in an email to the Canadian Press, “Health care is actually cooperatively managed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority to serve all residents of the West Bank. His post did not productively or constructively contribute to any conversation on the issue.”

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B’nai Brith Canada tried to open a dialogue with Angus about his tweet but he defiantly insisted in a statement on January 4 that he held no responsibility for repeating antisemitic bile, because it’s not up to him to believe or tell the truth about Israel.

“Since then B’nai Brith Canada has reached out. They have accused me of promoting “anti-Semitic conspiracy theories” by releasing this tweet. As a parliamentarian involved at the international stage on addressing the crisis of online conspiracy theories I was shocked by the accusation. I reject this accusation. If B’Nai Brith objects to the tone or the facts presented in the Guardian article the appropriate channel is to contact the editor of the Guardian.”

Angus went on to cloak himself in the veneer of a righteous gentile because he visited Yad Vashem once and “every day on my twitter feed I take the time to post a story from the Auschwitz Centre.”

Smothering himself in the ‘ally-ship’ hypocrisy Sarsour has pioneered, he concluded, “I will continue to be an ally in the fight against anti-semitism. I will also continue to advocate to improve conditions for the Palestinian people. This included reminding Israel occasionally of their international obligations particularly in the unprecedented crisis of this pandemic.”

Angus, a member of the Parliamentary Ethics committee, failed to identify a single “international obligation” relating to the vaccine that Israel has failed to execute. He also blocked online communication from the Charge d’affaires for Israel’s Mission to Canada.

“Very disappointing to see that instead of retracting his false statements demonizing Israel, or reaching out to converse, MP Angus found it more appropriate to block me when I suggested he refresh his views on what constitutes antisemitism. I guess pluralism isn’t for everyone,” tweeted Ohad Nakash Kaynar about Angus. Senator Linda Frum remarked, “Blocking a diplomat from an allied country is really unparliamentary behaviour. I’m sorry to see that.”

Thereafter B’nai Brith Canada issued an open letter to Jagmeet Singh demanding that both Angus and Gazan be hauled on the orange carpet.

“Mr. Angus used the term “apartheid state” in referring to Israel and erroneous media reporting suggesting Palestinians were being excluded from Israel’s COVID-19 vaccination roll-out programme,” wrote CEO Michael Mostyn. “Ms. Gazan, citing the same media reporting, accused Israel of “excluding people from being vaccinated based on discriminatory decisions and a clear violation of human rights”. The content of these posts requires censure of these two MPs, an action we urge you to take without delay.”

He continued, “Those who espouse hatred of Israel, often masking antipathy towards the Jewish community in Canada and elsewhere, reinforce the sense of religious hate and bias which we know you reject… My sense is that the social media posts of both Mr. Angus and Ms. Gazan fall within this scope.”

In explaining why Angus and Gazan had to be held to account, Mostyn reminded Singh that “Such statements, inaccurate and accusatory as they are, have consequences, whether intended or not. They only serve to inflame a growing antisemitism and unjustified anti-Israel feeling, in Canada and elsewhere.”

In an accompanying press release, Mostyn rejected Angus skirting responsibility for his actions.

“We have always been clear that elected officials, regardless of political affiliation, bear ultimate responsibility for material they post to social media, including conspiracy theories,” said Mostyn. “Mr. Angus should do the right thing and admit that the story he disseminated is insidiously misleading and that describing Israel as an ‘apartheid state’ is morally, and factually, objectionable. If he is unwilling to do so, then federal NDP leadership must do so for him.”

When an Israeli diplomat tried to get NDP MP Charlie Angus to agree to discuss the problematic antisemitism of repeating false claims about the Israeli vaccination program, the anti-Israel socialist erected a Twitter wall of silence.

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) also contacted Singh, stating they were “denouncing misleading and libelous anti-Israel tweets posted earlier this week by MPs Charlie Angus and Leah Gazan and calling for public apologies from the party members.”   

FSWC Director of Policy Jaime Kirzner-Roberts stated these allegations are “unambiguously untrue” and “both solidify and promote antisemitic narratives and conspiracy theories about Jews and Israel.”

“The program is well underway and is inclusive of all Israeli citizens – Jewish, Muslim and Christian alike – and is being delivered to the entire population without regard to ethnicity or religion of the recipients. Israel does not, however, have jurisdiction over health care provision for non-Israeli citizens in the West Bank or Gaza, as per the distribution of authorities agreed upon under the Oslo Accords.”  

Michael Levitt, FSWC President and CEO and himself a former MP, added, “At a time when Israel is being lauded for being a world leader in providing coronavirus vaccinations to all its citizens, it is a shame that there are Canadian politicians who feel the need to take shots at the country and spread disinformation. I am both disappointed and angered that elected officials have chosen to ignore the facts and instead join the anti-Israel voices spreading false allegations about Israel and its vaccination program.”

Marty Gold is the Editor-in -Chief of TheJ.ca. Known for investigative reporting, he has specialized in covering municipal and provincial politics, and a wide range of sports and entertainment, in newspapers, magazines, online, and on his first love, radio. His business and consulting experience includes live events and sales, workplace safety, documentary productions, PR, and telecommunications in Vancouver, Los Angeles and across Canada, and as a contestant on CBC-TV Dragons Den.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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