TORONTO — The Toronto Police Service’s hate crimes unit has opened an investigation into a newsletter delivered in the Beach and East York neighbourhoods of Toronto that residents say is anti-Semitic.
Police are acting on a complaint from a member of the public who received the May edition of Your Ward News in their mailbox, said Det.-Const. Kiren Bisla.
“We’re looking at it to see if it violates any hate laws,” Bisla told The CJN.
Complaints about the publication were first raised by a Jewish postal worker who objected to delivering the newsletter, which claims it is delivered to 48,000 homes and has 200,000 readers.
The May edition of the publication features on its cover photo-shopped images of a purportedly Jewish postal worker, with a beard, kippah and payot (sidelocks), a bagel by his side and spraying bagel crumbs from his mouth, saying “It’s the Holocaust all over again.” Next to that image is a pictures of two stereotypical Jewish lawyers, with long noses, seeking to determine whether a past issue of the magazine promoted hate.
Inside the magazine, you’ll find references to Jews and Israel that paints them as powerful, manipulative and invariably in a negative light. There is a claim that the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris was “a staged false-flag operation likely perpetrated by the Israeli Mossad and the American CIA (the same two groups that dragged us into wars for Israel, by destroying the Twin Towers and created the fake ‘ISIS’ threat.)”
Much of the material aimed at Jews was also employed by notorious anti-Semitic propagandists Jim Keegstra and Ernst Zundel: references to “ZioMarxist-controlled mainstream media;” a claim that “Marxist Jews in the Soviet Union” were responsible for killing 50 million Orthodox Christians; suggestions that the Holocaust “supposedly happened to your people;” that Jews have “an inherent supremacist attitude;” the claim that Ashkenazi Jews are really descendants of Turkish Khazars; and that Jews perpetrate massacres. A novel twist is the assertion that Jews were behind the Armenian genocide.
When Rabbi Zushe Silberstein heard that the Jewish inmate standing before him in a Montreal jail was due to be released in just three days, he didn’t hesitate.
“My daughter is getting married this weekend,” he said. “I would be honoured if you could attend the wedding.”
The prisoner stared at him with unbelieving eyes, certain he had misheard. A rabbi inviting a newly released prisoner to a family wedding? It seemed impossible. But in the next breath, Rabbi Silberstein was offering to help arrange a suit if needed. It was clear his invitation came from the heart.
The conversation between the two men occurred two years ago, and that weekend, the ex-convict did indeed attend the wedding.
“No one knew where he came from, and at the wedding he danced with presidents of synagogues, family and friends, just like anyone else,” Rabbi Silberstein recalls. “At one point he approached me, clearly emotional, asking what kind of gift he could give the bride and groom. I told him, “The gift you’ll give will be a promise that never again will you go back to jail.’ He gave that gift and he’s leading a straight life now.”
The encounter was nothing extraordinary for Rabbi Silberstein, who heads Chabad Chabanel in Montreal and regularly visits Jewish inmates in Quebec jails. “We bring them food and sandwiches, we daven, put on tfillin with them and celebrate Jewish holidays with them,” he says. There’s a seder at Pesach, a Megillah reading on Purim, menorahs on Chanukah and services on Rosh Hashanah.
But it’s not just about pushing spirituality, he insists.
“My main thrust has always been to tell these marginalized Jews, ‘You’re not alone, you’re not forgotten. There’s someone out there who cares about you.’ We’re there to comfort, to advise them and to show them the Jewish community cares about them… Chabad is at the forefront of this care, here and everywhere else,” Rabbi Silberstein says.
Posted on 26 April 2015.
By Rabbi Dow Marmur
Rabbi Dow Marmur
JERUSALEM — Ideology, which was the backbone of Zionism before the State of Israel was established and decades thereafter, is said to be yielding to economics. A growing number of Israelis are allegedly more concerned about how to make ends meet and how to afford to buy a home than about national aspirations or the future of Jews and Judaism.
That’s why some expect great things from the new party Kulanu that has been assured a place in the next government and whose leader is to concentrate on improving the economic conditions for the country’s poorer citizens. The religious needs of the ultra-Orthodox and the nationalist aspirations of the right-wing politicians will have to yield at least a little to the financial needs of ordinary folk, particularly the young.
Naor Narkis purports to speak for many of them. Like most of his generation, after the end of his army service last year, he went abroad “to see the world,” first to Paris and then to Berlin. In Berlin he discovered that food and accommodation are considerably cheaper than in Israel. He wrote about it on Facebook by showing that the same Milky chocolate pudding snack cost much less in Berlin than in Tel Aviv. The response from his readers was massive and more young people sought to go to Berlin.
He has now turned his observation into something of a mission and is currently urging young Israelis to join him in Berlin because it’s cheaper to live there. To make it more dramatic he now also argues in favour of leaving Israel because of growing nationalism and too much religion in the country. Germany’s Nazi past that once deterred Israelis from even visiting has ceased to be a hurdle for even living there.
Though no doubt Narkis will encourage some to leave – he has now extended his mission also to Canada and Australia – nationalism and religion are two of the main reasons that continue to bring many Jews – from Germany, Canada and Australia and other countries – to Israel. The influx of young Jews to the Jewish state is infinitely greater than the outflow. Though there’s by now a sizeable community of young Israelis in Berlin and elsewhere in Europe and beyond, they’re said to constitute less than one percent of the young who’ve stayed put.
City police said there is “no imminent threat to Edmonton” after al-Shabab released a propaganda video on Sunday calling on Muslim fighters to launch attacks and named Canada’s West Edmonton Mall as a potential target.
At a news conference Sunday afternoon, police said they are working closely with mall security and sharing information with the RCMP after the al Qaeda-linked rebel group in Somalia issued a video that urged attacks on shopping malls in the United States, Canada and Europe.
Al-Shabab was behind a 2013 shopping mall attack in Nairobi in which 67 people were killed.
Al-Shabab has released a video making threats against Canada, Britain and the U.S.
Edmonton Deputy Police Chief Brian Simpson said police are taking the issue seriously, but they have not identified a “specific threat.”
“I have to emphasize I feel West Edmonton mall is very safe, I also feel that this community is very safe,” he added.
NOVEMBER 21, 2014 |MIKE QUEBEC BUREAU CHIEF
Teacher Sarit Malca’s sudden death has been a shock to UTT/Herzliah community.
The United Talmud Torah/Herzliah school community in Montreal is still reeling after the shocking and sudden death of popular teacher and parent, Sarit Malca, who taught Hebrew and Jewish studies. On Sat., Nov. 15, the 41-year-old mother of two young girls, aged 8 and 5, went to the hospital suffering from severe stomach pain. Her condition continued to deteriorate and three days later she passed away.
Social services agency Ometz has been in the school offering grief counselling. A Twitter hash tag #Herzstrong has been used to show how everyone will get through this experience together.
A native Israeli, Malca was noted for the work she did between the school and its sister city for a program called Gesher Chai, which linked her school with those in Beer Sheva.
A new edition of Erna Paris’s book From Tolerance to Tyranny: A Cautionary Tale from Fifteenth-Century Spain will be published in January.
In 1979 and 1980, the government of Canada admitted 50,000 Vietnamese refugees. Ordinary Canadians were invited to participate in the boat people program. My parents and our extended relatives and friends raised enough money to sponsor a family. They were diligent workers: Before long, they were driving a better car than we were.
We did this because we remembered that a meaner Canada had refused entry to a shipload of desperate Jewish refugees from Nazism 40 years before.
That prewar mean-mindedness is back. Canada’s refugee determination system needed updating, but the Harper government has gone much too far. It has been accused of breaching international law, breaching the Constitution, and – just as important – breaching the values Canadians have defined themselves by.
Some recent examples: Last month, a 65-year-old Pakistani woman who fled to Canada because she had been accused of adultery and faced death by stoning was deported. She had appealed to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which advised Ottawa to delay the deportation until it could review her case under the UN Convention Against Torture, which Canada signed in 1985.
According to Amnesty International, our government’s patent disregard for international law will weaken its claim to be a global defender of human rights.
In July, Justice Anne MacTavish of the Federal Court ruled that the government’s cuts to health care for failed refugee claimants constituted “cruel and unusual treatment.” Denying health care puts the lives of vulnerable people at risk in a manner that “outrages our standards of decency” and is unconstitutional, she wrote. Clearly piqued, the Harper government announced this week that it would appeal the judge’s decision. It also asked the appeal court to delay enforcement of the order to resume health care until the appeal had been heard. That could be months.