B’nai Brith Canada is demanding an apology from Quebecois talk-show host Jacques Fabi, who allowed anti-semitic statements to be uttered on his radio program. Evidently, a woman named Maria called into Fabi’s program to criticize Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense. However, she then proceeded to attack Jewish people in general and praise the Holocaust. Fabi not only refrained from interrupting her, but he actually declared, “I’d never dare say such a thing, though you probably have the right. If you asked me if the Jewish population can sometimes be annoying, I would say yes.”
Steven Slimovitch, a lawyer for B’nai Brith Canada, claimed that the Jewish community in Quebec was outraged by this radio broadcast. Slimovitch stated, “She basically says that Hitler should have finished what he started.” B’nai Brith Canada sent a formal letter to the radio station complaining about this broadcast, in addition to the CRTC and the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. David Crete, spokesman for the 98.5 FM radio station, asserted that sanctions have been taken against Fabi. Crete asserted that Fabi’s comments were “unacceptable” and that “hosts and journalists are subject to ethical rules.”
Meanwhile, the same week that Maria went on an anti-semitic tirade on Jacques Fabi’s show, Dr. Julien Bauer, an outspokenly pro-Israel political science professor at the University of Quebec in Montreal, found the words “Heil Israel” all over his office door. The vandals also called Bauer, who is Jewish, stupid. The Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs condemned this act of vandalism, but said it was pleased by the university’s response. “There are all sorts of acts of intimidation against Jewish professors who declare their solidarity with Israel,” said David Ouellette of the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a very strong supporter of Israel. Last year, Harper asserted, “When Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack, is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand.” Nevertheless, anti-semitism remains a serious problem within Canada. According to the Parliamentary Coalition for Combating anti-Semitism, anti-semitism is alive and well within the country, especially on the university campuses. Actively pro-Israel Canadian students often are harassed and have offensive slurs thrown in their direction.
Furthermore, Frank Dimant of B’nai Brith Canada asserted there is “a sustained, ongoing undercurrent of anti-Jewish bias in Canada, with appalling instances of harassment, vandalism and even violence. Thirty years after the enactment of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we continue to see rocks being thrown at synagogue and school windows, deaths threats being sent via social media, visible Jews being taunted and physically assaulted on route to their homes and places of worship, and even a young Jewish girl’s hair being set on fire.” B’nai Brith Canada has reported an over twenty-fold increase in anti-semitic incidents reported in Canada within the last thirty years.
Reported by Rachel Avraham for United With Israel
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