Pop quiz: when is it a good politics to make common cause with people who sound an awful lot like Holocaust revisionists? Oh, that’s right—never. So it’s not surprising that there’s been a lot of outcry over the past week or so, and not just from Jewish groups, over the plans by Britain’s Conservative Party to welcome some dubious partners into its European Parliament coalition—including a Polish politician who has objected to Poles taking collective responsibility for the massacre of Jews during the Holocaust and members of a Latvian party that annually commemorates the service of volunteer Waffen-SS militias who slaughtered the country’s 70,000 Jews, plus another 20,000 deportees from other places, and then went on to heroically battle Stalin’s Red Army.
Yesterday, London’s Jewish Chronicle got the Polish pol, Michal Kaminski, to admit he’d worn the insignia of a violently anti-Semitic nationalist party from the 1930s. Today, the Guardian’s editorial board wheeled around to attack David Cameron, the Conservatives’ leader, for abetting the whole situation. And who does the paper invoke to make Cameron feel extra-special bad? Colin Powell, who apparently told the Latvians to knock off their Nazi memorial rallies when they were negotiating to join NATO. “If a Republican U.S. secretary of state can grasp a simple truth about Latvia’s past, why can’t David Cameron?” the editorial asks.