Kitchener-Waterloo Record | August 17, 2001 | Frank Bialystok
It is ironic that the Canadian Jewish Congress should be taken to task for its advocacy in favour of the removal of Helmut Oberlander from this country. Wasn't it the German-Canadian Congress that mobilized its forces to generate a national petition in support of Oberlander? In so doing, it was representing what it believes to be the will of its constituency -- its right in a democratic society.
While we react with sadness to the response of the representatives of the German community, we will not back away from our firm agreement with the decision of the Federal Court or apologize for our position that a man who acted as an enabler for the Einsatzgruppen has no place in Canada.
More troubling is the view expressed by MPs Andrew Telegdi and Janko Peric: that the Canadian Jewish Congress has influenced the decision of the federal cabinet. Telegdi, in particular, appears to hold the view that the Congress has too much influence. How does he define that?
But most peculiar is the manner in which Oberlander's supporters attempt to cloud the central issues of the case. Oberlander found himself before the Federal Court of Canada because he was accused of failing to disclose or misrepresenting his wartime activities as an interpreter for a Nazi mobile killing unit. Justice Andrew MacKay employed the standard of "balance of probabilities" in developing and delivering his decision. To equate this well-established process with "pure speculation" is erroneous and irresponsible.
Frank Bialystok, Chairman
Community Relations Committee
Canadian Jewish Congress