MONTREAL (May. 3)
The opposition Progressive Conservative Party has defended the nomination of a notorious anti-Semite, Roger Delorme, to be its candidate for election in the Terrebonne district of Quebec province. The nomination stirred angry protests from both Jews and non-Jews in Quebec and across Canada.
Joe Clark, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, disavowed “any form of anti-Semitism” and claimed that Delorme agreed to abide by the party’s policy in that respect. Beyond that, he refused to interfere with the candidate.
Clark stated his position in a letter to Myer Bick, national executive director of the Canada-Israel Committee who had expressed astonishment that the Progressive Conservatives would nominate a disseminator of anti-Israel, anti-Jewish views. Clark wrote, “On many occasions I have spoken out in opposition to any form of anti-Semitism and in support of Israel’s fundamental rights to exist as an independent state. That is my position and that is the position of my party.”
He said he “specifically discussed” party policy with regard to Israel and anti-Semitism with Delorme and “Mr. Delorme assured me that he was prepared to support our party policy in these areas. It is not my view that a party leader should interfere in the riding (district) level process beyond a level of assuring that candidates seeking such nominations understand the basic policies of our party.”
Delorme, a former radio and television commentator, has been leading a media campaign in recent years against Israel and Jews by equating Zionism with Nazism. According to Delorme, the story of Anne Frank was a figment of Jewish imagination and the death of six million Jews in the Nazi Holocaust an “absurd exaggeration.”