Canada’s post office says it will no longer deliver a crude Toronto-area newspaper that repeatedly denied the Holocaust, praised Adolf Hitler and derided Jews, Muslims, women and the LGBT community.
Public Services and Procurement Minister Judy Foote, who oversees Canada Post, issued an order on June 6 against the future delivery of Your Ward News, a free, low-budget newspaper sent to 350,000 homes in the east end of Toronto. The publication claims an online readership of over 1 million.
The publication has been the subject of complaints for years, the Canadian Jewish News reported. B’nai Brith Canada said it has received “literally hundreds of phone calls and emails from people who have felt victimized by the content in this publication.”
The newspaper has defended itself as satire protected by free speech.
Amanda Hohmann, national director of B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights, said her group was pleased to see that the government “has taken appropriate steps to protect Canadians from this kind of hate propaganda.”
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs also hailed Canada Post’s move.
“Freedom of speech – a core Canadian value – is cheapened and corroded when it is cynically used by extremists to justify the dissemination of hate,” said CEO Shimon Koffler Fogel. “The fact that the Canadian Union of Postal Workers has supported efforts to ban the delivery of Your Ward News reflects a broad consensus about the nature of the racist propaganda featured in this newsletter.”
Your Ward News editor James Sears has filed a request for a review of Canada Post’s decision. An appeal would consist of a panel appointed by the minister. He called the Canada Post move an “Orwellian order”.
“We’re just a satirical, offensive newspaper,” Sears told CBC News. “It has been found multiple times by Canada Post lawyers that we’re not breaking any hate-speech laws.”
Sears is a former Toronto medical doctor who was stripped of his license in 1992 after a court found him guilty of sexually assaulting female patients.
The United Nations has demonstrated yet again just how unfit it is to hold that name title. Also worrying is how it has been supported in its last farce by the UK, France, Germany.
These nations, together with other EU states have voted for a UN resolution, co-sponsored by the Arab group of states and the Palestinian delegation, that uniquely singled out Israel at the annual assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) as the only violator of “mental, physical and environmental health.”
They further commissioned a WHO delegation to investigate and report on “the health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory” and in “the occupied Syrian Golan,” and to place it on the agenda again at next year’s meeting.
By contrast, the UN assembly did not address Syrian hospitals being bombed by Syrian and Russian warplanes, or millions of Yemenis denied access to food and water by the Saudi-led bombings and blockade, nor did it pass a resolution on China, North Korea, Libya or any other world nation.
“The UN reached new heights of absurdity today,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, “by enacting a resolution which accuses Israel of violating the health rights of Syrians in the Golan, even as in reality Israeli hospitals continue their life-saving treatment for Syrians fleeing to the Golan from the Assad regime’s barbaric attacks.”
“Shame on Britain, France and Germany for encouraging this hijacking of the annual world health assembly, Neuer added.
In contrast to the shocking collaboration of the UK, France and Germany, there is much to commend the principled stand taken by the U.S., Canada, Australia, Paraguay, Guatemala, Micronesia and Papua New Guinea in joining Israel to oppose perpetuating a politicized agenda item.
The U.S. and Canada both took the floor today to strongly object to the anti-Israel exercise.
The vote was 107 to 8 for the resolution, with 8 abstentions and 58 absent. The resolution calls for reports on a series of alleged Israeli violations, including on “the impact of prolonged occupation and human rights violations on mental,
physical and environmental health” in “the occupied Palestinian territory.”
By backing the measure, EU states effectively adopted an inflammatory report which, amongst other things, blamed the increase in Palestinian traffic accidents on the fear of “being pursued by settlers”; as well as a Syrian submission laced with anti-Semitic conspiracy tropes, yet circulated as an official UN document on the conference agenda, which alleges that “the Israeli occupation authorities” continue “to experiment on Syrian and Arab prisoners with medicines and drugs and to inject them with pathogenic viruses.”
Unable to deny Israel’s medical treatment of thousands of wounded Syrians, the regime accuses Israel of a plot: healing “armed terrorists from Jabhah al-Nusrah” so that they can “resume their subversive terrorist activities directed against the country’s peaceful citizens and its infrastructure.”
The EU states could have introduced their own resolution about how Syria has killed hundreds of thousands of its own people, destroying the health rights of the Syrian people.
Last month, France and Spain voted for an Arab-sponsored UNESCO resolution that contained the wild conspiracy accusation that Israel was “planting fake Jewish graves” in Jerusalem.
With today’s vote, which robs the world health assembly of limited time and resources in order to portray Israel as the world’s only violator of health rights, the entire EU now descends into irrationalism.
By scapegoating the Jewish state for all the world’s health problems, just as medieval Europe once accused the Jews of poisoning the wells, the EU aids and abets the UN and its World Health Organization to betray the cause of humanity and the very principles upon which they were founded.
This article is adapted from one published by UN Watch. Follow the link to it here.
His material and actions have earned him a string of convictions in Europe for racial hatred. Now the French performer known as Dieudonné, who bills himself as a comedian, faces calls for him to be barred from entering Canada, where he has a series of shows next month in Montreal.
Describing himself as a comedian is an interesting take on someone who has mocked the Holocaust on stage, called Hitler a “good boy,” and popularized a controversial hand gesture known as the “quenelle” that resembles a downward Nazi salute. Not particularly funny really.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has said flatly that Dieudonné, whose real name is Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, is persona non grata in the city. “Someone who incites racial hatred and foments social tensions in Europe isn’t welcome in Montreal,” he tweeted.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs called on Ottawa to keep the comedian out.
“Canada should not let a convicted offender of hate speech laws into the country,” said spokesman David Ouellette. “He has crossed the line into incitement to violence. When you’re calling on people to unite to kill Jews, it is surely a red line, where freedom of expression is no excuse.”
Those involved in Mr. M’bala M’bala’s tour in Quebec insist the performer has tempered his material and authorities should not be trying to silence him. “This is about freedom of expression. That is my fight,” said Gino Ste-Marie, a Quebec City-based organizer involved in the tour.
Federal Immigration Minister John McCallum’s office says it is following the case closely, and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says it will be left to Canadian border-services agents to rule on Mr. M’bala M’bala’s admissibility once he arrives at a port of entry. Mr. M’bala M’bala’s prior criminality will be taken into account.
Court convictions in Europe have started to pile up on Mr. M’bala M’bala. Last year, the European Court of Human Rights upheld a French court conviction of inciting racial hatred for a show in which Mr. M’bala M’bala invited a Holocaust denier onstage to receive a prize from an actor dressed in striped pyjamas, evoking a concentration camp uniform. A French court last year also gave him a suspended sentence for inciting terrorism after a Facebook post appearing sympathetic with one of the gunmen in the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
Mayors of several cities in France have banned his shows as threats to public order. Britain and Hong Kong have denied him entry.
Yet France’s efforts to rein him in are also fuelling a debate over free speech. Despite the efforts to clamp down on him – or perhaps because of them – Mr. M’bala M’bala enjoys considerable popularity, particularly among alienated youth from Africa and North Africa.
Mr. M’bala M’Bala, who was born in Paris, has a connection to Quebec. He used to appear at major venues and as a guest on talk shows in the province, even as he became a source of controversy in Europe. Eventually, Quebec began to keep its distance.
The owner of the Montreal venue where Mr. M’bala M’bala is to perform said he reviewed the comedian’s material for the coming show and has also received “guarantees” it would not contain hateful or racist material. “I cannot be responsible for what this man has said in the past,” said Mushagalusa Chigoho.
Toronto immigration lawyer Barbara Jackman says Canada has legal grounds for denying entry to Mr. M’bala M’bala because of his prior convictions for hate speech. Canada has equivalent laws.
“It would have a strong case against letting him in,” Ms. Jackman says. If he showed up, Canada could detain him and order him deported, she added.
Last month, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) appointed Canadian professor Michael Lynk as “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.”
Ensuing debate has focused on Lynk’s suitability for the role. Critics of the appointment cite Lynk’s record of significant involvement in advocacy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including with organizations that are clearly biased against Israel.
Lynk’s may have an impressive career background in academia and law, therefore, there is nothing to suggest he lacks the knowledge or experience for such a position. But this is ultimately irrelevant to the question of whether Lynk is a suitable choice for Special Rapporteur.
First and foremost, the UNHRC itself has declared (in resolutions 5/1 and 16/21) that “impartiality” and “objectivity” are of “paramount importance” when selecting mandate-holders. The choice of any activist is a clear violation of this core requirement.
Lynk has served as an advisory board member to Palestinian advocacy organisations like CEPAL and Friends of Sabeel North America. These organisations have slandered Israel as an “apartheid state.”
Lynk has also accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing.” He has addressed “one-state” conferences, which — despite academic niceties — are premised on the notion that the world’s only Jewish state should be abolished.
He is on record as saying that Israel and Hamas should both be tried for “war crimes,” an allegation that attempts to equivocate the actions of the only liberal democracy in the region to the same moral level as jihadists who in their Covenant publicly call for the destruction of Israel.
Lynk has urged the president of Western University to reject an award from the Jewish National Fund, one of the oldest environmental organizations on earth. As long ago as 1996, Lynk testified before a parliamentary committee considering legislation to establish Canada-Israel free trade, arguing that the bill was “detrimental to the peace process.”
For decades, he has been actively and formally involved in advocacy initiatives that he would characterize as pro-Palestinian but others, with reason, would characterise as anti-Israel.
Lynk is, of course, entitled to hold strong opinions and advocate for them. But in so doing, he disqualifies himself from meeting the “paramount” test of impartiality and objectivity required — that seems to exist only on paper in the halls of the UNHRC.
All of which is to say that Lynk’s appointment is but one manifestation of the corroded nature of the UNHRC. In its most recent session, the UNHRC passed five resolutions against Israel compared to none against Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Russia, Burundi, and China. The Council’s Special Rapporteur for the Palestinians refuses to investigate violations of Palestinian rights by the Palestinian Authority or Hamas. It’s no surprise that 9/11 conspiracy theorist Richard Falk felt at home in the role. Nor can we be shocked the next time a brutal dictatorship like Iran or North Korea is appointed to chair a UN initiative focused on women’s rights or disarmament.
In November, the Trudeau government took a widely noted stand at the UN by maintaining Canada’s opposition to the annual series of General Assembly resolutions singling out Israel. In the same vein, its Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion has commendably raised legitimate concerns with the Lynk appointment and called for a review of the decision. Such a clear positive stance is all too often lacking from other democratic nations.
Indeed, just as hatred of Jews foreshadows the decay of an entire society, anti-Israel bias at the UNHRC reflects broader, systemic dysfunction at the UN — which affects the entire international community.
Quebec, Canada – Two reports but one common theme?
B’nai Brith of Canada is struggling with the seemingly hapless police in city of Laval regarding a spate of anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on a number of houses, cars and on the walls of a park chalet in the Laval-des-Rapides district.
“It seems like the police were brushing this off as some teenage vandals,” Harvey Levine, executive director of B’nai Brith Canada, Quebec region, told the Montreal Gazette.
“But from the type of graffiti that we’ve seen – the SS symbols – this wasn’t just some teenagers spending an afternoon spraying graffiti. It’s up to the Laval police to investigate this more seriously as a hate crime rather than as an act of vandalism.”
Police reported a total of 13 acts of anti-Semitic graffiti – including swastikas – that were sprayed on the night of March 28 to the early morning hours of March 29.
Among the graffiti were the numbers 14/88 – an anti-Semitic code used by white supremacists and neo-Nazis – as well as a crossed-out Star of David.
Lt. Geneviève Villeneuve, of the Laval Police public-affairs department, said on Monday that investigators have no suspects.
“We have zero hypotheses,” Villeneuve added. “There were no cameras or witnesses. All we know is that there were 13 graffiti in different places.”
Asked whether police were investigating this as vandalism or as a hate crime, she responded: “All this is being studied at the same time to determine whether it’s a hate crime or not.”
Meanwhile, in neighbouring Montreal a real estate developer who wants to demolish a former church in Notre Dame de Grâce and build houses on the site while allowing a Chabad centre to remain in the adjoining hall, thinks prejudice is motivating many of the project’s opponents.
Robert Blatt, one of the site owners, told The CJN that in a year of public consultation, he has received many calls and emails about the project, and the majority have questioned whether the proposed seven single-family dwellings will be reserved for members of the Chabad-Lubavitch community.
Blatt said the inquirers give the impression they don’t want that to happen.
He said opponents have repeatedly brought up the same concern at the monthly borough council meetings. Blatt believes opponents’ claims that they are only concerned with preserving a building for its heritage value, or with keeping it for community use, do not tell the whole story.
“That the Jewish element should be brought into this, that they object to the presence of a Jewish organization, is extremely upsetting,” he said. “And this is in a community that prides itself on its multicultural character.”
Blatt said there is no deal between the developers and Chabad that would give it priority to purchase the homes. He said the houses would be on the open market.
Blatt recalled that at a public consultation meeting last October, a man-made a Nazi salute and yelled “Heil Copeman” after borough mayor Russell Copeman responded positively to a Chabad Rabbi’s vow to address complaints about noise that were made by several people there.
At its next meeting on May 2, the council is expected to decide whether to hold a referendum or rescind the planning approval that would have allowed the project to go ahead.
The Chabad centre has been occupying the hall since September 2013. The NDG Chabad moved to the former church as it has steadily become more popular.
Its founder and director Rabbi Yisroel Bernath said a much larger space – and ideally one of its own – was needed to accommodate the increasing number of participants in its services and activities, many of them young professionals and families, as well as students from Concordia University’s Loyola campus.
During the centre’s 2-1/2 years at the former church site, Rabbi Bernath has said he has received complaints from neighbours about noise. He is not certain that all were founded, and fears anti-Semitism may be behind some of them.
The church, which was deconsecrated in 2012, did have a designation of heritage interest from the City of Montreal, but at the lowest level on its rating scale. That value was judged less on architectural merit, than on the congregation’s history in the neighbourhood.
Israel’s UN ambassador, Danny Danon, has this week blasted the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for behaving “obsessively” against Israel. While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement calling the body an “anti-Israel circus,” adding the council “attacks the only democracy in the Middle East and ignores the gross violations of Iran, Syria and North Korea.”
In our ongoing campaign to expose the anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic hypocrisy of the United Nations we can report that the UNHRC adopted a measure calling for the establishment of a database of businesses “involved in activities” in the occupied West Bank.
The Geneva-based council, a 47-member state forum, adopted the motion with 32 votes in favour, none against and 15, mostly European nations and the US, abstaining.
The council asked for the list of enterprises to be updated annually and to be appraised of the “human rights and international law violations involved in the production of settlement goods.”
Danon said the council’s decision reminded of “a dark period in Europe when Jewish businesses were singled out. Whoever supported today’s decision, should be ashamed.”
Indeed, AntiSemitismWatch today publishes a copy of a flyer distributed by British Fascists in the 1960s. It contextualizes the true nature of how the UNHRCs latest action should be considered and that of the BDS movement in general. The content of the flyer is reminiscent of contemporary language of BDS supporters and apologists.
The council also named Canadian Michael Lynk as its new ‘Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian territories’. His role to investigate on the situation of human rights in the region.
The appointment of the Western University law professor is controversial because of what some describe as his long-held and public bias against the Jewish state.
Toronto, Canada – While Toronto witnessed a drop in the number of hate crimes in 2015, the Jewish community continued to be the single-most targeted victim group. However, the total number of instances were fewer than the previous year.
According to the Toronto Police Service 2015 Annual Hate/Bias Crime Statistical Report, 31 occurrences involved Jews – plus one that targeted an Israeli.
Altogether 134 incidents were reported to police in 2015, a drop of 8.2 per cent from the 146 occurrences the year before.
In 2014, Jews, were also the single most targeted group, with 44 occurrences reported. The 31 incidents in 2015 represent a 29.5 per cent drop from the number in 2014.
The Jewish community makes up 3.8 per cent of the city’s population, as measured by religious affiliation, yet in 2015 were victimized in nearly 24 per cent of the religiously motivated incidents.
Most of the incidents involved mischief to property, such as anti-Semitic graffiti or vandalism. Apartment buildings, schools and public places, such as laneways, were the most common location for mischief offences.
Only 21 charges were laid against 19 persons in 2015, and only three of them were related to mischief offences.
Joel Reitman, co-chair of Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), Toronto, said, “Unfortunately, it comes as no surprise that the Jewish community finds itself once again disproportionately targeted in reported hate-crimes in Toronto. This is hardly an anomaly, which is why the security of our community is CIJA’s top priority. We offer a wide range of free services to ensure that Jewish institutions, their staff, and our community members are well protected. These services include security assessments, security briefings and tailored training sessions for security personnel.
“We strongly encourage staff and volunteers in the Jewish community who hold security-related responsibilities at their institutions to go to our website to learn more about the resources that are available,” Reitman added.
According to Canada’s CityNews, a mural hanging in country’s York University student centre, seen by some as anti-Semitic, has prompted media mogul Paul Bronfman to pull his support from the university. Bronfman heads William F. White a media equipment company.
“The upshot is that if that poster is not going by the end of day today then William F. White is out of York,” Bronfman had said. “York is going to lose thousands of dollars of television production equipment used for emerging student filmmakers, access to technical people who do education and student training and student seminars, workshops and open houses at William F. White Center that help them develop the hard skills needed to fill industry infrastructure positions like gaffer or grip: they will no longer be invited. York University will be persona non grata at William F. White International until they take that poster down.”
The mural depicts a man with rocks in his hands looking at a bulldozer near a building. On his back is a Palestinian flag and a map of Israel without borders. Below that are the words Justice and Peace.
Danielle Shachar, a Jewish student at the University said, “If a mural condoning violence against any other nation was hung on campus, it would rightfully be condemned. Only when it pertains to Jews do we see this disturbing double standard.”
There have been been a number of anti-Israel protests and hateful graffiti appearing on campus. Shachar describes the campus as “a breeding ground for violence, hate and discrimination against Israel and its student supporters.”
In a statement from York University, Joanne Rider said the artwork displayed in the Student Centre is overseen by a separate Board of Directors and is a separate legal entity from the University.
“We consulted widely with experts who told us that we are not in a legal position to compel the Student Centre leadership to remove the artwork,” she said, adding that the school encourages freedom of expression.
“Freedom of expression is one of York’s guiding principles. Members of the York community have the right to express their views and to test and challenge ideas, provided they do so within the law and in a peaceful and non-threatening manner. We are an inclusive university and we care about how our students feel.”
She also said she is disappointed with Bronfman’s decision to pull his company’s support.
“We deeply regret Mr. Bronfman’s decision and would like to thank him for his support,” she says in the release. “Our Arts, Media, Performance and Design students have benefited from the experiential learning activities made possible by his generosity.”
As we approach International Holocaust Memorial Day it is worthy to reflect on the work of the one bastion of hope that all Jewish communities should expect to rely on. The United Nations, born out of peaceful intent at the end of World War II, should rightly be considered a shining and protective light at this time of concern and anxiety for Jews brought about by the rising tide of anti-Semitism. It is then so dreadfully tragic that this lumbering monolith simply isn’t there for us.
After the horrors that were manifested by man during the Second World War you would imagine that a mantra of vigilance against anti-Semitism would run through the UN like a golden thred. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.
Relying on half a trillion dollars from “Daddy” – the US – the UN over the past 70 years has morphed into a bloated, greedy, arrogant mega-bureaucracy that has spawned a plethora of ugly offspring, such as the vile UNHRC or the repulsive UN Durban Conferences on Racism which, instead of promoting peace, deliberately foment hatred.
From 2006, when the UN Human Rights Council was formed, to 2015, it passed zero condemnations of al-Qa’ida, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hezbollah, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan or Egypt – but passed 61 condemnations of Israel.
Israel is the only nation in the world that has a standing agenda item against it at every session of the UNHRC. Not North Korea, not China, not Pakistan, not Syria, not Sudan, not Iran. The council has never once even mentioned the word “Hamas”.
Professor Anne Bayefsky, of Canada’s York University, writing of the UN human rights system, explains: “It is the tool of those who would make Israel the archetypal human rights violator in the world today. It is a breeding ground for anti-Semitism. It is a sanctuary for moral relativists. In short, it is a scandal.”
It is also the case that non-democratic states overwhelmingly control the UN. They often mouth the words of moderation, but defend nations that give sanctuary to terrorists.
Ludicrously, the three UN Durban Conferences on Racism have found racism exists in only one of the 192 nations of the UN: Israel.
Then there us the notorious UN Resolution 3379, adopted on November 10, 1975 by a vote of 72 to 35 (with 32 abstentions), that “determine[d] that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination”. The resolution was passed with the support of the Soviet bloc and other then Soviet-aligned nations, in addition to the Arab and Islamic majority countries.
The determination that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination”, contained in the resolution, was only revoked in 1991 after strenuous effort by the US and other democratic nations.
As Abe Foxman of the ADL said, “anti-Zionism constitutes anti-Semitism if Zionism is the only nationalism being opposed.”
Also, in 2012 there were 22 UN General Assembly resolutions against Israel, but only four for the rest of the world combined.
So, just to be clear, in the eyes of the UN, a tiny democracy on a tiny strip of land is responsible for five times the horrors of war, starvation, torture, imprisonment, and terrorism of Russia, Syria, Iran, China, North Korea, and all the Islamic and African states combined!
The United Nations is now only a bastion for all the is bad in the world; greed, corruption and inherent anti-Semitism. Real hope can only come from within the community working with those that see through the facade of organisations and structures like the UN.
With increasing reports of Antisemitic hate crime being recorded in large parts of Europe, including here in the UK, as well as in America, Jewish residents in Montreal, Canada are the latest community to be targeted. In the West End district of the city someone painted four cars with swastikas and left notes, each with a bullet.
The note allegedly read “we’ll kill you.”
Another news report said a bullet accompanied the message “you’re going to get one of these in your head.”
The windshield of one car was also smashed with an axe, which lay on the ground.
The vandal had placed envelopes, adorned with Nazi symbols, under the windshield wipers of the damaged vehicles.
“The police didn’t want to tell us what was written, but we found out later that the message was for us,” said one resident. “There was also a bullet in the envelope.”
“All my life, I felt safe in Montreal,” she said. “I can’t believe this could happen in my building. I’m definitely afraid.”
Montreal police say an investigation is underway. Forensic experts were on scene.