The Privy Council Office has launched an internal investigation into a senior public servant for posting anti-Israel sentiments on social media in the aftermath of the massacre of civilians by Hamas gunmen.
Nisam Siddiqui, a senior analyst at PCO, accused Canada and other Western countries of aiding Israel in “war crimes and crimes against humanity” against Palestinians in Gaza.
“They are acting as enablers to allow Israel to continue murdering Semitic Palestinians in an open-air prison in the Gaza Ghetto to maintain its brutal racist apartheid occupation,” Mr. Siddiqui posted on Facebook.
In a series of social-media comments since the Saturday attack by Hamas, Mr. Siddiqui was highly critical of Israel but did not denounce the Palestinian militant group for the rapes and killings of Jewish civilians and for taking as many as 150 hostages. Canada has listed Hamas as a terrorist organization.
When contacted by The Globe and Mail about the social-media posts, the Privy Council Office, which manages the public service, said it is investigating and may take disciplinary action against Mr. Siddiqui.
“The Privy Council Office takes this matter very seriously and we are taking immediate steps to determine the facts surrounding the involvement of this individual,” PCO media director Stèphane Shank said in an e-mail statement.
Mr. Shank would provide no further details but said “adherence to the Values and Ethics Code of the Public Service is a condition of employment for all federal public servants,” adding that this may result in “disciplinary measures, up to and including termination of employment.”
The Globe was unable to immediately reach Mr. Siddiqui for comment.
This is not the first time Mr. Siddiqui has faced disciplinary action for social-media posts about Israel and Jews.
In 2020, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre complained to the PCO about antisemitic comments by Mr. Siddiqui, then working as a senior PCO analyst.
The two groups said that posts on the Facebook page of Mr. Siddiqui in 2020 made disparaging comments about the genetic background of Jewish people and claimed many Jews participated in or enabled Nazi atrocities.
The two Canadian Jewish organizations said then that the Facebook page included a “multitude of libels against Israel,” referring to it as a “parasitic, racist, apartheid state.”
The statement quotes one post as saying Israel has “prospered by leeching off American taxpayers” and alleging that the Jewish state engages in “ethnic cleansing” and harbours pedophiles.
At the time, the PCO issued a similar statement about taking the matter seriously and promising to hold Mr. Siddiqui to the public service’s code of conduct.
“Once again, we are seeing the Canadian public service not taking antisemitism seriously,” said David Cooper, vice-president of government relations at the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.
“Instead of outright firing the individual for his previous failure to adhere to the Values and Ethics Code of the Public Service, they merely swept the problem under the carpet by shuffling him to another department.
“It is time that the public service immediately fire him for these most recent social-media postings,” Mr. Cooper said.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to Nisam Siddiqui as a former senior analyst at the Privy Council Office and a current senior adviser at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Mr. Siddiqui remains in the role of senior analyst at PCO. This version has been updated.