Montreal Host Suspended Over Anti-Semitic Remarks

Montreal radio talk show host Jacques Fabi suspended for one month for not being tough enough with an anti-Semitic caller.

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Elad Benari,

Israel news photo: file

Montreal late-night radio talk show host Jacques Fabi has been suspended for one month without pay for not being tough enough with an anti-Semitic caller, CBC News reported on Monday.

In a statement, senior vice president Richard Lachance of COGECO Diffusion, which owns the station, 98.5FM, said Fabi regrets the incident.

"COGECO Diffusion and 98.5 FM do not endorse in any way these comments and deplore, without reservation, the on-air host's lack of judgment in this case," said Lachance.

A woman, who called herself Maria, phoned into Fabi's show last week.

He allowed her to continue speaking after she called the Holocaust a beautiful thing, reported CBC.

Fabi did not interrupt the woman, but continued the conversation and sympathized with her statements.

"I'd never dare say such a thing," he said, adding, "though you probably have the right."

Fabi said that there are consequences for people who speak negatively about Jewish people, especially in Montreal where there is such a significant Jewish population.

"If you asked me if the Jewish population can sometimes be annoying, I would say yes," he said.

In total, the conversation lasted for more than four minutes.

B'nai Brith Canada is demanding an on-air apology from Fabi. CBC reported that the organization sent a formal letter to the radio station complaining about the comments. B'nai Brith also sent complaints to the CRTC and the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.

Steven Slimovitch, a lawyer for B'nai Brith Canada, said his inbox was flooded with emails from Jewish Canadians following the broadcast.

"She basically says that Hitler should have finished what he started," Slimovitch said. "There's no place for comments like that on a radio station. These are unacceptable comments and they beg a formal apology on the air.”

Last week, the office of a political-science professor and outspoken defender of Israel in Montreal was vandalized with anti-Semitic slogans. The words “Heil Israel”, written in French, were found scrawled on the professor’s office door at the Université du Québec à Montréal.

Greece's neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party recently set up an office in Montreal, in an effort to reach out to Greek citizens living abroad and widen its sphere of influence.

The party, which has become notorious for its blatant anti-Semitic and xenophobic rhetoric, openly displays copies of “Mein Kampf,” as well as other works on Greek racial superiority at party headquarters.

Party leader Nikos Michaloliakos has denied that ovens and gas chambers were used in Nazi concentration camps exterminate Jews during the Holocaust.

The party campaigned under the slogan “So we can rid the land of filth” and holds frequent rallies, chanting “Foreigners out of Greece!”