Last Friday, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky visited the Canadian parliament. For the occasion, the speaker of the house invited a ninety-eight-year-old Ukrainian World War II veteran to attend, and introduced him as a “hero”—prompting a standing ovation. It was soon discovered that this guest of honor had served in a Ukrainian-manned SS division that fought the Soviets under Nazi command. Terry Glavin observes that the incident has only given “new life” to official Russian propaganda about Kyiv’s supposed domination by Nazis, which has also been directed against Ottawa. Nor is it unique:
[This] happened on the eve of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, of all days. And in the presence of the gallant Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, himself a Jew, during what should have been a triumphant visit to the House of Commons. We are all suitably chastened, of course. The consensus is that parliament should now turn to sensibly banal questions like this one: how can we ensure that something like this never happens again?
There were also apologies all round last year because of the horrible optics of the Liberal MP Salma Zahid and the cabinet minister Omar Alghabra along with MPs from all the parties gathering for a Palestine Day event on Parliament Hill with characters known for regurgitating praise of terrorists and publishing outright Holocaust denial. Sorry, won’t happen again. Unacceptable.
Last year there was also the case of Laith Marouf, a grossly anti-Semitic apologist for the Syrian mass murderer Bashar al-Assad whose proposal to hector federally regulated broadcasters about how not to be racist was championed by cabinet heavyweight Ahmed Hussen and funded lavishly. Marouf’s various projects were eventually found to have hoovered up hundreds of thousands of dollars in [government] consultation funds.
The remedy? A promise that nothing like it would happen again. There would be workshops for senior federal officials in how to spot Jew hatred when it’s shouted in their faces.