Dr. Victor Goldbloom. Municipal Affairs Minister in the Quebec Provincial government, last night formally asked Creditist Party leader Camil Samson to withdraw or apologize for his remarks comparing Jewish doctors who perform abortions on Quebec women to Nazi attempts at racial extermination.
Samson refused the request, made in the National Assembly (the Quebec provincial parliament). He blamed English-language journalists with having made an "abusive interpretation" of his comments. Samson, who made his remarks earlier this month before the Social Affairs Committee of the National Assembly, was quoted as saying:
"Our fellow Quebeckers went to war in Germany to try to prevent the destruction of part of the German people of Jewish origin because there were humanitarian reasons, very good reasons to go and defend these people. That was the scandal of the century, the destruction of almost an entire people. However, 30 years later, by different methods which do not involve crematoria, we are witnessing the destruction of the Quebec people here. Strange coincidence: among the artisans of this destruction we find persons of that nationality which we tried to save when we put the lives of our fellow citizens in danger."
Goldbloom, who is a Jew and a pediatrician. said last night that "doctors of Jewish origin have rendered service with competence and devotion to the Quebec population without any distinction of religion and color." He noted that 80 percent of the abortions performed at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal involved non-Frence Canadian women and the operations are requested by the patients, not forced by the doctors. "Jewish doctors and the Jewish community as a group feel insulted," he said.
OUTRAGE EXPRESSED AT REMARKS
Following Samson’s statement before the National Assembly committee, the Joint Community Relations Committee of the Canadian Jewish Congress and B’nai B’rith held a meeting to discuss his remarks. Following the meeting, which was attended by specially invited leading members of the medical and administrative staff of the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, a statement was released to the press by Joel Pinsky, chairman of the committee, which stated:
"The conscience of all Quebeckers must be outraged by the spurious remarks of Camil Samson….By drawing a parallel with the atrocities committed in Nazi Germany, Samson has evoked the same perverted reasoning which fosters racism and bigotry. These utterances which reveal an unqualified ignorance are an obscene distortion of history and constitute an insult, not only to those referred to but to all decent citizens of this Province. We are accordingly studying the procedure whereby appropriate redress and censure can be obtained before the National Assembly, from which body we anticipate the cooperation of all Honorable Members."
Samson has dismissed the Jewish reactions as a "useless war."
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.