The host of the Parliament Hill meeting isn’t talking. And the guests that were portrayed alongside invitee Nazih Khatatba –whose Mississauga-based newspaper Meshwar has promoted Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism— issued brief and tepid statements before going into hiding.

But many questions remain as to how he was invited to an event hosted by The Canada-Palestine Friendship Group, chaired by Liberal MP Salma Zahid.
This is especially pressing after the backlash of the recent Laith Marouf scandal, a federal government contractor.In August it was revealed that Marouf — an obsessed Palestinian activist – had been tweeting vile anti-Semitic bile including calling Zionists “loud-mouthed bags of human feces, aka the Jewish White Supremacists.”

Reports indicated Diversity Minister and Minister of Housing Ahmed Hussen knew about the tweets for weeks. It took the federal government a month to end his $133,000 contract (announced in April), which was for him to provide an anti-racism strategy in six cities across Canada.

Transport minister Omar Algabra, who was front and centre at the Nov. 29 event in a kaffiyeh, issued a brief statement on Twitter before moving on to other issues.

Green party MP and co-chairman Elizabeth May, who was also at the event in a kaffiyeh, disavowed a connection with Khatatba, indicating she was unaware he was there, that she had no control over who came and is strongly against anti-Semitism.

This is the leader of the party that has been in turmoil since leader Annamie Paul – the first black and Jewish leader – was forced out. Paul dealt with party infighting over its policy on Israel and the focus on Palestine.

May was recorded as saying at the event: “I take my marching orders from the permanent representative of Palestine to Canada.”
And she tweeted this on the same day:

Zahid, who did not respond to requests for comment, took no responsibility for Khatatba’s attendance in a series of tweets, insisting they can’t research the history of every attendee–even though they all would require security clearance.
Honest Reporting Canada has thoroughly documented Khatatba’s rantings. According to HRC’s Mike Fegelman, on November 16, Khatatba asked on his Facebook page why Zionist organizations are “afraid of opening the Holocaust file”  – suggesting they are “hiding something.”

On Nov. 23, a Meshwar article, translated from Arabic, described terror bombing attacks on innocent Israelis – who were either murdered or maimed – as “beautiful.”

He suggested that the Nov. 23 bombing attack that killed 16-year-old Canadian Israeli Aryeh Shechopek while innocently waiting for the bus was a “beautiful bombing operation” after a long hiatus. Khatatba also warned that the “Palestinian anger is not over yet.”

Khatatba commented under this latest HRC article claiming he is not “anti-Semitic”, that he has a right to attend any event (particularly related to Palestine) and those who accuse him of being anti-Semitic are supporting the “Israeli Occupation who commits daily murders against the Palestinians.”

The reaction from the Jewish community was swift.

Vivian Bercovici, now living in Israel after serving as Canadian Ambassador to Israel under the Stephen Harper government, pressured the federal ministers who turned up and others like Jewish MP Anthony Housefather to explain how Khatatba ended up there.

Fegelman told True North we should all be “shocked” that this kind of situation occurred after the Marouf scandal.

“You’d think that would have sent a message to the entire government but it hasn’t,” he said. 

“I don’t know how it came to be that a bonafide anti-Semite got a welcome mat to a government event.”

He said he can’t imagine that any other community would accept that such a bigot would be invited to an event on Parliament Hill and if those attending didn’t know about his background, it suggests they should have been briefed.

This was not a mass rally, he added saying it looked to be a “handpicked” event.

Fegelman also finds it “alarming” that May said openly she takes her marching orders from the representative of Palestine– that such a person would “dictate” her policies, principles and actions.

“It seems she is saying it almost as a badge of honour,” he said. “She’s sending a message that anti-Semites and Israel haters are welcome in the Green Party with open arms.”


  • Sue-Ann Levy

    A two-time investigative reporting award winner and nine-time winner of the Toronto Sun’s Readers Choice award for news writer, Sue-Ann Levy made her name for advocating the poor, the homeless, the elderly in long-term care and others without a voice and for fighting against the striking rise in anti-Semitism and the BDS movement across Canada.