Greens pick candidate dropped in 2019 for tweets

·2 min read

HALIFAX — The federal Greens have nominated a candidate in Nova Scotia who was turfed by the NDP in the last national campaign after a tweet surfaced in which she had compared Israel to Nazi Germany.

Rana Zaman tweeted Tuesday she is the official candidate for the Green party in Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, the riding where she was dropped by the NDP after her remarks emerged in the lead-up to the 2019 campaign.

Zaman, a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause, was criticized for online posts denouncing Israel's armed forces for shooting Palestinian protesters.

One of the posts compared Israel's actions in Gaza to Nazi Germany's actions in Europe during the Holocaust.

Zaman apologized after the comments emerged, saying in a tweet she realized that her remarks were "inappropriate, hurtful and sadly may be perceived as antisemitic."

Reached by telephone Tuesday, Zaman declined to comment, saying a statement was being prepared.

The federal Greens' position on Israel has been among the issues that has led to infighting and factionalism within the party for months under leader Annamie Paul, who was elected to her position in October 2020.

In June of this year, Green MP Jenica Atwin crossed the floor to the Liberals over views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as broader tussles over power and authority within the party.

Atwin had warned about Israeli "apartheid" in a Twitter post on May 11, deeming Paul's more traditional statement on violence in the region as "completely inadequate."

There had been a long-simmering feud in the party after a social media post from Noah Zatzman — a former Paul adviser who has since stepped aside — that called out unspecified Green MPs for antisemitism.

The Greens' social media stir did not end with Zaman.

Kerri Coombs, the Green candidate for Red Deer-Lacombe in Alberta, tweeted a few days ago about British Columbia's provincial health officer: "I personally see Bonnie Henry as a serial killer with an 'Angel of Death' psychological profile. I'll leave it to others to figure out whether I've been reading too many #COVID studies in the @lancet, watching too many episodes of @CrimMinds_CBS or both."

Coombs recanted on Tuesday, saying she regretted the tweet and that it was "meant to be funny."

"I did binge-watch 'Criminal Minds' and binge-read COVID studies during the lockdown," she added.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 24, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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