Ontario parliament
Ontario parliament iStock

B’nai Brith Canada on Thursday called on private businesses in Ontario to follow the Government of Ontario after it cancelled its advertisements in a newspaper with a long history of anti-Jewish incitement.

In response to advocacy from B’nai Brith, the Government has ceased placing COVID-19 safety ads in al-Meshwar, published and edited by Nazih Khatatba of Mississauga.

B’nai Brith Canada noted al-Meshwar’s anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement over the years.

The newspaper has in the past praised a 2014 massacre at a Jerusalem synagogue, called Judaism a “terrorist religion,” blamed Jews for the Holocaust and glorified suicide bombings.

Last year, al-Meshwarpublished an article falsely accusing Israel of burying Palestinian Arabs alive and stealing their organs.

In response to B’nai Brith’s outreach to his advertisers, Khatatba doubled down on the anti-Semitism and Holocaust distortion in his editorial in last week’s edition of al-Meshwar, equating the Holocaust with what he called “the continuous Palestinian Nakba Holocaust,” while blaming B’nai Brith for “creating sedition and civil wars, not just in Palestine, but throughout the Middle East.”

Khatatba similarly trivialized the Holocaust with comments on television in 2016, which led Rogers TV to scrap the program.

“Reputable businesses should not be making money from antisemitism,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “No lawyer, real estate agent or contractor should want to see their name or face appear beside an article that downplays the Holocaust or praises acts of terrorism.

“We thank those advertisers, including the Government of Ontario, who have already done the right thing,” he added.

B’nai Brith Canada noted that aside from anti-Semitic canards, al-Meshwar also continues to glorify acts of terrorism and murder.

In September of 2019, it ran an article calling Israel “the Auschwitz State” for imprisoning Maher Younes, an Israeli Arab serving a 40-year sentence for murdering an Israeli soldier in 1980.

In February of this year, it ran another piece lavishing praise on Muhammad al-Tous, who murdered five Israeli civilians in 1984-85. Both pieces were written by Issa Qaraqe, the former Palestinian Authority “Minister of Prisoners Affairs”.

All editions of al-Meshwar published between March of 2016 and the end of 2020 have recently been removed from its website. However, B’nai Brith has preserved copies of the articles in question.