By Sue-Ann Levy , Toronto Sun
First posted: Tuesday, August 02, 2016 09:28 PM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, August 02, 2016 09:56 PM EDT
She was a member of the Green Party of Canada when it was founded in 1983 and ran in four elections as a party candidate.
Monika Schaefer, who stood for election provincially in 2004 and federally in 2006, 2008 and 2011, came to the party’s attention in mid-June when she posted a video on YouTube flatly denying the Holocaust.
According to the Jasper resident, who shot the video in Germany, the Holocaust is “the biggest and most pernicious lie in all of history” and there were “no gas chambers there (in Germany or elsewhere)... the only gas used was to get rid of lice.”
It appears the Green Party had egg on its face, not just because this woman was a candidate several times over, but because Green Party leader — and the party’s only sitting MP — Elizabeth May didn’t seem to know whether she was still a member, or not, when leading Canadian Jewish groups exposed Schaefer last month.
Reached in Jasper Tuesday, Schaefer said she rescinded her membership a year ago “on a matter of principle” — namely because May distanced herself from a petition seeking an investigation into the events of 9/11.
She accused May of “making political hay” out of her video — an affront considering she was a “loyal” Green Party member and candidate and shared her views “widely” with many Green Party members.
“She is bowing to her political masters ... The Zionist lobby,” said Schaefer, whose candidacy was rejected in 2014.
Martin Sampson, spokesman for the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, says the Green Party is “particularly susceptible to infiltration” by Holocaust deniers and 9/11 Truthers.
“In order to remain credible, the Green Party must stop people who hold these abhorrent views from hijacking the party, distracting it from its mission and relegating it to the margins,” he said.
One has to look no further than this weekend’s annual conference in Ottawa, where two controversial anti-Israel motions — and the only foreign policy positions to be presented at all — will be debated Saturday morning (on the Jewish Sabbath.)
Those controversial motions urge Green Party members to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement (which attempts to restrict ties and business with the Jewish state) and to approve revoking the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund of Canada (a charity that has worked to protect the natural environment of Israel for decades).
Online voting has been so supportive that the motions have made it to the convention’s workshop sessions, where they will be debated and voted on and then sent to full membership for a vote.
Michael Mostyn, CEO of B’nai Brith, says they believe members of the Independent Jewish Voices organization are pushing these Green Party motions — a group he says has spearheaded the anti-Israel boycott movement in Canada, have sent speakers to the highly “morally reprehensible” anti-Semitic Al Quds day rallies and “pretends” to speak for the majority of Jews in Canada, when in fact they do not.
Green Party spokesman Dan Palmer said May has previously indicated publicly that she opposes both motions and that she is just one vote at the convention.
“Policy proposals come from the grassroots of the party and are not vetted before being put to members,” he said Tuesday.
Mostyn said they certainly hope the anti-Israel motions do not pass this weekend and that the Green Party would not be associated with “views of this sort,” especially since the IJV organization have their paw prints all over them.
“You don’t want any political party motions that would single out groups for hatred,” he says.
He added that Schaefer’s video is “horrendous” and “extremely disturbing.”
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