August 22, 2017
By Aidan Fishman
Interim National Director of the League for Human Rights
B'nai Brith Canada
TORONTO - Earlier today, B'nai Brith Canada issued a press release calling on NDP leadership candidate Niki Ashton to reject the endorsements of Nazih Khatatba, who has a history of promoting Holocaust denial.
In response to our advocacy on behalf of the grassroots Jewish community, Ashton tonight issued a statement distancing herself from Khatatba. The statement can be found below.
While the statement does not mention Khatatba by name, Ashton's campaign team clarified in an email to B'nai Brith that she indeed is referring to him in her statement.
"B'nai Brith is very pleased that Ms. Ashton has rejected the endorsement of Nazih Khatatba," said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B'nai Brith Canada. "There is no place in Canadian politics for Holocaust denial, the promotion of terrorism or Jew hatred, especially in light of the recent events in Charlottesville, which have sparked a wider conversation about racism in our society.
"The moral of this story goes beyond politics. In these turbulent times, it is incumbent on all Canadians to shun and resist all forms of hatred and incitement."
B'nai Brith will continue to be a leading advocate for the human rights of all Canadians.
Here is Ashton's statement:
"It has come to my attention that our campaign was shown support by a member of the public on Facebook who has made public comments denying the atrocities of the Holocaust. In no way do I support such views. I do not accept support from people who hold such views.
"To be clear, I completely reject any and all efforts to deny the Holocaust, as it represents an insidious and disgusting form of anti-semitism.
"As someone whose family members died at the hands of Nazi occupation and whose family members fought the Nazis and fascism in Europe I oppose the denial of the Holocaust and all atrocities the Nazis committed.
"My stance has always been clear: we must continue to work for peace and justice, not ongoing violence and suffering. In no way do I support violence against any community, and completely reject any effort to perpetrate or condone violence and suffering.
"We are seeing a rise of neo-nazism and other hate groups, formed out of division and fear. We must come together to condemn such hate. We must put a stop to the denial of the Holocaust. In no uncertain terms. Such hate and violence has no place in our communities."
*UPDATE: August 24, 2017 - Nazih Khatatba has published a Facebook post in which he says he now recognizes the genocide of more than 6-million Jews in the Nazi Holocaust. To read his full statement, click here.*