Antisemitism in Canada and the Ontario Provincial Election. A dangerous route ahead!

“History teaches us that difficult conversations about religion must start from respect and inclusion, not hate and division.”

      by Alan Simons

“Jewish Canadians have long been subjected to legalized forms of antisemitic discrimination.  ‘None is too many’ was the response of a high-level Canadian government official when asked how many Jewish people should be accepted as immigrants, at the time of the Nazi persecution of Jewish people. Signs posted along Toronto beaches stated ‘No Dogs or Jews Allowed.’ Many hotels and resorts had policies prohibiting Jewish people as guests. There were restrictions on where Jewish people could live or buy property. In 1951, a Jewish man challenged a restrictive covenant preventing property from being sold to anyone of ‘the Jewish, Hebrew, Semitic, Negro or coloured race or  blood.’ The Supreme Court of Canada declared the covenant void because, among other reasons, it was unclear.’”

– The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) 

CTV News reported this past April: “Incidents of antisemitism were on the rise for a fifth straight year in Canada, despite an overall decline in the number of incidents worldwide, according to a Jewish advocacy group.

“The analysis, which was conducted by Amanda Hohman and Aidan Fishman of B’Nai Brith Canada, suggests antisemitism ‘is becoming mainstream,’ based on a number of highly public incidents that occurred in 2017. “While final numbers for 2017 have not been compiled, there is no doubt that the five-year trend of elevated levels of antisemitism is continuing,” Hohman and Fishman write. Their perspective on Canada is included in a draft analysis of worldwide antisemitism in 2017, which was released by Tel Aviv University’s Kanton Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry.

“Hohman and Fishman say Canada has seen a rise of antisemitism in all its forms online, at public protests, in politics, on university campuses and in several ‘brazen’ public assaults. Anti-semitic incidents and attacks spanned the political spectrum, ranging from the far-right to the far-left, with significant contributions from Islamic and Arab nationalists as well.

“The report also cites a number of antisemitic messages at protests over U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to move his country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

“Hohman and Fishman also highlighted problematic incidents at McGill University, Ryerson University and McMaster University.”

“All levels of government need to do better in order to stem the tide of anti-Semitism, which remains one of the most pervasive forms of hatred and discrimination in Canada,” Hohman and Fishman write.”

What has this all to do with the upcoming Ontario Provincial Election?

This Thursday, June 7, 2018, in the Province of Ontario people will head to their polling stations to cast their vote. The three primary political parties are The Progressive Conservatives (PC); the National Democratic Party (NDP) and the Ontario Liberal Party (LP) which, since 2003 has formed the government of Ontario.

However, the Liberal’s under the leadership of Kathleen Wynne, the party that won 58 seats in the Legislature at the last election and had formed a majority government, Wynne last week astonishingly conceded defeat and threw in the towel, five days before the election, much to the chagrin of the vast number of volunteers who are utterly demoralized after having spent an inordinate amount of time working feverishly to support their local riding Liberal candidate.

As of now, the consensus is the Ontario Liberals will be thoroughly annihilated and might only be fortunate enough to get five seats.

What does this all mean for Ontario Jews?

Well, the choice is now basically between the left-wing NDP, and the right-wing Conservatives whose leader Doug Ford, the brother of Toronto’s infamous Mayor Rob Ford, has in the past come out strongly as a (Canadian) Trump supporter.

This is the same Doug Ford who The Canadian Jewish News (CJN) in 2014 reported, “tried to show his family’s affinity for the Jewish people, but ended up doubling down on Jewish stereotypes by saying:  ‘You know something? My doctor – my Jewish doctor, my Jewish dentist, my Jewish lawyer – hold on, my Jewish accountant.” The crowd erupted into loud boos.

“This was not the first time that Ford engaged in racial stereotyping. A year earlier, in an interview with the Toronto Sun, Ford tried to engage the Jewish community by reminding the reporter that “they’re supportive, very supportive – they’re business people.”

The CJN also reported in reference to the current provincial election:

“There is more to Ford’s intolerance than the manner in which he sees racial minorities. Only a few weeks ago, he welcomed Tanya Granic Allen, possibly the most regressive and backward Progressive Conservative candidate, into the fold. And while Ford was forced to “fire” her a few weeks later, he can hardly claim not to have known about her bigoted proclivities, which were widely disseminated on social media.

“Allen has lamented same-sex marriage as society’s demise. She once characterized Muslim women wearing niqabs and burkas as ninjas and bank robbers. She also claimed that she survived the “abortion Holocaust” and has compared both the founder of Planned Parenthood and Canada’s first female magistrate, Emily Murphy, to Hitler.”

As to the NDP, a left-wing social democratic political party, they also have their party demons. CBC News reported on May 25, 2018, “Ontario NDP under fire for candidate’s Hitler-themed social media post.”

They added, referring to a 2013 social media meme shared by the NDP candidate in Toronto’s Scarborough–Agincourt, Tasleem Riaz:

“The Facebook post features a quote that is commonly attributed to Hitler overlaid over a photo of the tyrannical despot giving a Nazi salute to a gathered crowd. A title above the image reads, ‘The Ruler said about Rule.’ The phrase below it — “If you don’t like a rule … just follow it … reach the top … and change the rule,” is attributed to Hitler, though there’s no direct historical evidence the Nazi dictator ever uttered it.”

To which NDP candidate Tasleem Riaz replied:

“I am an interfaith advocate, and I have devoted my life to interfaith religious tolerance and freedom. I work closely with the Jewish, Hindu, Christian, Sikh and Muslim communities in my neighbourhood. In every way, I find Hitler, the hate he spewed, and the genocide he committed to be abhorrent.”

      Bernie Farber

Bernie M. Farber is a Canadian writer, commentator, and the former chief executive officer of the Canadian Jewish Congress and a social activist. On his Facebook site this morning he had this to say about the upcoming Ontario Provincial Election:

“I have been sickened over the last 500 days watching the slow erosion of ethics, morals and decency in the United States that is Donald Trump. Many of us here in Ontario have sat back, perhaps a bit too smugly, thanking our lucky stars that we don’t live in America. Yet in two days this could all change!  While it’s a very close election here, there remains a possibility that Doug Ford, a strong follower and supporter of Trump could become Premier. To be sure there are differences in a very Canadian way but the similarities are too stark and frankly too scary. When Trump was running for office he had the backing of all the white supremacist Neo-Nazis and White nationalists from former KKK Grand Dragon David Duke to other less well-known extremists. Ford has the same white supremacist support in Ontario.

“Trump was also supported by the hard right racist rump of the Republican Party, bigots, sexists, homophobes, Islamophobes and antisemites. Ford has that same rump support here in Ontario. When he ran for office scandals began to emerge about Trump that should have torpedoed his campaign. We are seeing a similar scandal scenario playing itself out now here in Ontario with Doug Ford. If the nightmare plays itself out that Ontario smugness will be quickly wiped from our faces. And sadly as in America, we will only have ourselves to blame.”

I don’t know if Ontarians have recently been sitting back with a smug look on their faces. Certainly, there was a time. But now the vast majority of those smug faces who have suffered from potential potty accidents since Trump was elected and who equate Ford with Trump and who regard this election as their last hurrah to express their personal racially inspired vindictiveness towards anything left or right of centre, will somehow get their reckoning. I would like to believe that.

Yes, Ford in striking the first match, with a large ‘C’ for right-wing Conservatism, has shown within all political parties in Ontario there’s a society out there that’s utterly alarming, who now aren’t frightened to outright express their racially inspired and antisemitic views. These are the people in our society who we should focus on and should have been for years. This election has merely driven them out of their hibernated state. They have been looking for all the food they can eat and this election has supplied it to them, lock, stock, and barrel.

* * *

Photo credit: Bernie Farber – Sassy Wire.
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What in God’s name is happening in the world? Part II

by Alan Simons

There’s a well-known Yiddish expression. Di velt iz sheyn nor di mentshn makhn zi mies. The world is beautiful but people make it ugly.  This is Part II in a series that sees no end in site. Antisemitism, Holocaust denial, Islamophobia, hate towards the Roma, Nigerian children being kidnapped by perverted terrorist sick-os that go by their adopted name of the “Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad,”  Geert Wilders, the darling of many American Jews, until he announced his intention of joining the far-right bloc in the upcoming EU parliamentary elections. He’s now somewhat changed his mind! And then there’s Ukraine, South Sudan and the garbage being spewed from the lips of numerous Fatah officials. Hamas, who on TV have pleasure in enticing their children to kill the Jews and finally Canada, of all places, where many Jews wonder who is actually looking after their interests.  Need I say more?

The world is not only in kerfuffle it is ready to self-implode.  If you have any doubts just take a few minutes to read the following items recently published in various media. Their links are attached:


A 6 Year old in Hiding in a Church, in Canada.  The Psuma family are Roma/Jewish. They were chased out of their home in Hungary after being set upon by neo-Nazi thugs. They have been threatened with death if they return. Yet Canada, compassionate understanding Canada under the present government want to do just that, deny their refugee claim for safety and return them to the clutches of racist hooligans.


Jewish mother, baby assaulted in Paris.  A woman assaulted a Jewish mother and her baby in Paris while shouting antisemitic slurs.  In Tuesday’s incident, the assailant shook the stroller belonging to a 27-year-old mother while her 6-month-old baby was inside, according to the Drancy-based National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA. The mother described the attacker as being in her 50s with a European complexion and features, BNVCA said. The mother said the attacker shouted, “Dirty Jewess, enough with your children already, you Jews have too many children, screw you.” Identified by BNVCA by her initials, A.M., the mother said the assailant continued to hurl insults at her in front of onlookers at the Faubourg Monmartre bus stop in the 9th arrondissement, a district in central Paris. BNVCA founder Sammy Ghozlan said the mother has filed a complaint with police and can identify her attacker… He added, “The anti-Semitism which persists despite all the measures taken is causing great distress to many Jewish citizens, who are contemplating their future in our country.”


“The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights group, on Monday demanded an apology from the directors of state-owned Russia Today Television for airing anti-Semitic programming that contravened Russia’s membership obligations under the 2004 Berlin Declaration on Anti-Semitism of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Known as RT, the outlet has long come under criticism for serving as a Kremlin mouthpiece and for vicious attacks on Israel. “In the very week that the Russian Federation criminalized the denial of the Holocaust and the State of Israel celebrated its 66th Independence Day, your channel apparently decided to trash both Jewish Holocaust victims and Jewish sovereignty…


Hungary’s far-right party set to come second in EU vote…  Both the European Commission and the European Parliament have taken Budapest to task over questions of rule of law and media freedom. While Fidesz will undoubtedly win the EU elections, far-right party Jobbik is also set to do very well in the 25 May vote. “The surprise would be if they didn’t come in second,” says Csaba Toth of the Republikon Institute. He notes that Jobbik is continuing its push for the political centre, a strategy that already paid off at the polls in April. “Its strategic goal is to become an alternating party to Fidesz,” he adds.


Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders is riding high ahead of this month’s European Parliament The best of Geert Wilderselections, hoping to destroy from within what he calls the ‘monster of Brussels’.  Despite an unprecedented backlash after he called for “fewer Moroccans” in the Netherlands, his Party for Freedom (PVV) looks set to make gains in the May 22 vote, including extra clout and cash by joining a pan-European populist alliance.  The platinum-haired Wilders in November announced “the start of the liberation of Europe” from the European Union after forming a partnership with French far-right party National Front (FN).  Like the FN’s leader Marine Le Pen, Wilders wants to take his country out of the EU and to abandon the euro. “Wilders is hunting for power in Europe. He wants to be part of a broader movement and wants more influence in the European Parliament,” says Adriaan Schout, senior researcher at the Clingendael Institute for International Relations. The latest Ipsos opinion poll on May 1 ranked Wilders’ PVV third in the Netherlands, just below the ruling coalition partner People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and the pro-Europe D66.


Czech Cabinet will not pay for demolition of pig farm in Lety.  Over 1,300 Romanies were interned in Lety during the German Nazi occupation, 327 of whom perished in the camp and over 500 were sent to the extermination camp in Auschwitz where most of them died.  A memorial to the Romany Holocaust was set up at the former burial ground of the Lety concentration camp for Romanies. However, it is situated near a pig farm that is at the site now. Romanies and human rights activists have protested against it for years. Relatives of the Romany Holocaust victims along with the U.N. Human Rights Committee have demanded that the pig farm be abolished.


Greece’s top court allows far-right party to contest EU vote.  Greece’s Supreme Court on Sunday allowed the far-right Golden Dawn party to run in European elections this month, despite calls to ban it as its leader waits in jail to be tried for membership of a criminal organization. The court routinely permits parties to take part in elections but a private citizen had asked it to exclude Golden Dawn this time because its leadership is under investigation over a string of attacks against immigrants and opponents…  The party is running between third and fifth in opinion polls, and a strong showing would pose a challenge to the fragile coalition government.


Canadians more likely to be antisemitic than Americans, poll finds.  A new global poll reveals Canadians are more likely to be antisemitic than Americans.  The survey by the U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) found 14% of Canadians harbour anti-Jewish attitudes, compared with only 9% of Americans…  Although many Canadians want to dismiss anti-Semitism as being a problem of the past, the survey makes it clear it persists. If anything, the modern form of anti-Semitism may be even more dangerous than it was in the past. In Canada, anti-Jewish bullying and abuse take place on campuses, in classrooms and workplaces…


Twitter Is Platform of Choice for Antisemites as Hate Rises on Social Media.  Twitter is the “weapon of choice” for bigots and racists, according to a new report on digital hate and intolerance released by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The center surveyed hateful content on over 30,000 websites and found that online hatred rose more than 30% over the past year. The report also graded top social media platforms on their commitment to removing hateful posts and on whether the prevalence of these posts on their sites is increasing or decreasing. “If the world is going to effectively deal with the growing threat from lone wolf terrorists, the leading social media companies, including Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter must do more,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, assistant dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. But Cooper reserved special criticism for Twitter, which received a D grade in the report. He said Twitter has shown little inclination to work with his center or to seriously address hateful speech and even terrorist activity. “There are terrorist groups that use Twitter to communicate,” he said. “Twitter hasn’t shown us they have an institutional grasp or commitment of the issue, and that needs to change.”


South Sudan violence leaves trail of bodies, starving children and destruction. Bodies stuffed in wells. Houses burned down. Children playing on military hardware. And infants showing the skeletal outlines of severe hunger. These are the scenes from a remote part of South Sudan – Leer – where Doctors Without Borders has just begun feeding severely malnourished children about three months after the aid group’s hospital was destroyed in violence that has been ripping apart the country since December. One child brought to the clinic by a mother hoping for life-saving aid instead died the next day. That and other scenes of desperation were recently filmed by an Associated Press journalist.  UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council on Monday that he visited South Sudan this month in order to “sound the alarm about the violence and the risk of catastrophic famine.” Ban warned that if the fighting continues, half of South Sudan’s 12 million people will be displaced, starving or dead by year’s end.


JIN France attack on a Jewish man May 17 2014

Click on this image

French Jewish leader: ‘It’s not so pleasant living there as Jews.’ France’s flag has three stripes, and its motto promotes three values: liberty, equality and fraternity. Now, its Jewish community – Europe’s largest — faces three threats, according to Roger Cukierman, president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish organizations and a vice president of the World Jewish Congress. In an appearance at New York’s French consulate, Cukierman laid out the trio of challenges: an increasingly radicalized Muslim immigrant population that scapegoats Jews, the growing popularity of the far-right National Front party headed by Marine Le Pen, and widespread anti-Israel sentiment among French leftists. “It’s not so pleasant living there as Jews in this period,” Cukierman said, adding that at a recent anti-government demonstration, “a crowd of 17,000 people was yelling, ‘Jews, France does not belong to you.’” (An audience member disputed his characterization later during a Q&A session, arguing that only about 500 demonstrators joined in the anti-Jewish chants.) Forty percent of violent hate crimes in France target Jews, Cukierman said.


Israel’s creation is “greatest crime known to humanity,” writes official PA daily op-ed.  To coincide with Israel’s Independence Day, the official Palestinian Authority daily published an op-ed describing Israel’s creation – “the occupation of Palestine” – as “the greatest crime known to humanity.” Other terms of demonization used to refer to Israel’s creation were “a monstrosity was born” and “an despicable mission.” Jewish fighting forces in the War of Independence were referred to as “the Zionist gangs.”… Children in the PA are likewise taught in official education to reject Israel’s right to exist. A PA schoolbook uses some of the same terms that appeared in the op-ed when teaching 12th graders about the establishment of Israel. 

 (Text credit: Canada, Psuma family- Bernie Farber. Photo credit: Greece- universityobserver; South Sudan- sam-bronx photo; France- alliancefr)

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  اخبار یهودی

-Canadian Muslim group uses KKK video on their website.


“It’s hard to believe that in 2011, there would be any credible or faith-based group that would embrace the most despicable neo-Nazi in North America, David Duke.” –Bernie Farber, CEO of Canadian Jewish Congress.

“Grounds to lodge a complaint to police over the website, which it said may be in violation of Canada’s hate laws.”

APRIL 12, 2011. From Canada’s National Post (April11) –  A Canadian Muslim group is making no apologies for its Internet site, which features a video address by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

In the 12-minute video on the Canadian Shia Muslims Organization website, Mr. Duke espouses conspiracy theories about what he calls “Zionist running dogs.”

Click on the image

Asked about the video, the Markham, Ontario based Muslim group responded with an email saying it would not discuss the matter unless the press reported on “the Islamaphobic [Sic] hate propaganda going on here in Canada.”

The Canadian Shia Muslim Organization was incorporated in 2008 to “support multiculturalism” and “interfaith dialogue.” Federal records list the directors as Munir Hussain Syed, Riaz Husain and Syed Fayyaz Mehdi Rizvi…

The group’s address is a postal box in Markham. [Ontario] It has no phone listing. In its literature, it calls itself “a grassroots organization of Canadian Shia Muslims that operates above racial, gender and ethnicity considerations.” Its stated aim is to “represent all Canadian Shia Muslims to promote and ensure their participation in religious and political arenas of the Canadian society.”

The video can currently be seen at: or on You Tube


APRIL 13, 2011.

From Bernie Farber, CEO of Canadian Jewish Congress:

You may have read recently that a Canadian Shia group posted a number of videos on its site that were clearly in our view antisemitic. The videos in question featured David Duke notorious KKK leader and neo-Nazi.

Following the first National Post story a second article appeared in the National Post reporting that CJC had filed a formal hate crimes complaint to York Regional Police Services.

Today I am happy to report that the site in question has now removed the antisemitic videos as a result it seems of our complaint to the police. We are still working with the police in its investigation of our original complaint.

Success here, we believe, delivers a clear message that such hateful behaviour will simply not be tolerated.

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