CJN’s investigation found out that MP Adler was not the first but the second child of a Holocaust survivor to ever be elected as an MP. Preceded him was the former Liberal MP Raymonde Folco, who served in Parliament between 1997 to 2011.
CJN didn’t argue or imply any deliberate wrongdoing on behalf of MP Adler, who explained that is was “an honest mistake.” Almost 4 years ago in November of 2011, MP Adler, referring to the government’s decision to build the National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa, said in Parliament the following: “As the first child of a Holocaust survivor to be elected as a member of this Parliament, this monument is very meaningful to me personally and to my family.” Up until very recently Adler’s statement was not questioned, challenged or contested by anyone.
The magnitude of this journalistic achievement cannot be denied. MP Adler removed the word “first” and now his bio and election poster read only: “son of Holocaust survivor.”
But the story does not end here. In two consecutive articles on this issue, CJN cited statements of two politicians and a senior journalist lambasting MP Adler for his “cynical” use of the Holocaust in the election campaign. The following are quotes from CJN’s articles:
Former Liberal MP Raymonde Folco – “In an email to The CJN, Folco said she found it “disgusting” for Adler “to use the Holocaust in this way, for personal ends.” She later told The CJN that as an MP, she never publicized her status as a child of Holocaust survivors, while Adler is “profiting” from it. “Whether he is the first or 15th, I should think it is your record that matters: what you’ve done and what you intend to do for Canadians, when elected.”
Hal Berman – “Adler’s NDP opponent, Hal Berman, a palliative care physician, criticized the MP on his own Twitter feed, saying, “Shame on you using #Holocaust for political gain. #yorkcentre deserves better – I am in this for voters.”
Jonathan Kay – “The York Centre MP found himself at the centre of controversy after Walrus editor Jonathan Kay tweeted a picture Aug. 16 of Adler’s original campaign office sign containing his claim about being the son of a survivor. “And who needs Yad Vashem when Holocaust awareness is now being promoted on partisan Conservative signage?”
Had Jonathan Kay did a quick research on this very issue of using the Holocaust card in the federal elections he would have found much more valuable scoop than “this million-dollar shot of a scoop.”
A week before federal elections four years ago, CJN’s editor sent a crystal clear message to the Jewish community to bear in mind the memory of the Holocaust and its historical lessons when exercising their right to vote. Mordechai Ben Dat, then editor of CJN, wrote in his column “From the editor’s desk” among other things the following:
“Vote and remember… Thus, when we vote next week, we must feel an extra dimension in its [Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Day] significance. It is hard to conceive of a Nazi regime flowering in a true and strong democracy… There are many significant ways to mark Yom Hashoah. Voting in the federal election is one of them.”
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