The Greens received their fewest votes in 20 years and the party faces financial ruin but Noah Zatzman has found greener pastures. Demonstrating how anti-Palestinian political activity is rewarded, the individual that precipitated the Greens spectacular collapse was recently made a principal at Aurora Strategy Group.
“Noah Zatzman Joins Aurora Strategy Group”, declared an October 28 press release from the lobbying and public relations firm. The former adviser to Annamie Paul who threatened to defeat sitting Green MPs is an “expert PR and political strategist”, according to the release.
For those unfamiliar with the background, during an upsurge in Israeli violence and ethnic cleansing in May Zatzman posted a message to Facebook stating:
“Shabbat shalom. I have never experienced more anti-Semitism and Jew hatred from people I thought I knew well, then I did this week. (This includes being on campus at York and Carleton in 2002-7 — not a walk in the park). The progressive and climate communities have displayed, at some points this week, overt and virulent anti-Jewish behavior.
Appalling anti-Semitism and discrimination from a range of political actors beginning with Jagmeet Singh and Dimitri Lascaris and many Liberal, NDP and sadly Green MPs.
We will not accept an apology after you realize what you’ve done. We will work to defeat you and bring in progressive climate champions who are antifa and pro-LGBT and pro indigenous sovereignty and Zionists!!!! Am Israel chai [The people of Israel live].”
Zatzman’s statement was wild. Only hardened Israeli nationalists believe it is anti-Jewish to oppose Israel’s ethnic cleansing in East Jerusalem, violent attacks on the Al-Aqsa mosque and killing of 250 Palestinians in Gaza. Certainly, smearing influential individuals and threatening to work to “defeat” sitting Green MPs doesn’t seem very strategic for a top adviser.
The Aurora Strategy Group disagrees, labeling Zatzman an “expert” political strategist. Their view of Zatzman is likely influenced by their perspective of Palestinians. Like Zatzman, the president of Aurora Strategy Group, Marcel Wieder, has a background with pro-Israel groups. He worked for Hillel and B’nai B’rith in the late 1980s and in 2016 participated in an Ontario government delegation to Israel.
Along with his position at Aurora, Zatzman recently became co-chair of United Jewish Appeal Toronto’s new LGBTQ+ Division. UJA is the main financier of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and the chair of UJA’s board is anti-Palestinian former senator Linda Frum.
Zatzman’s recent appointments gives credence to those who’ve argued that Annamie Paul joined the Greens to sabotage a party that had become increasingly pro-Palestinian. (Paul’s continuing refusal to leave her position as head of the party more than a month after ‘resigning’ also gives credence to the sabotage thesis.) While this is probably an overly conspiratorial explanation of the Green Party debacle, it’s clear that Zatzman and Paul were more committed to protecting Israel from criticism than the interests of the Greens.
Zatzman’s new position with Aurora Strategy Group suggests he’s suffered limited personal costs for his anti-Palestinian positions. It will be interesting to see where Annamie Paul lands.