Canada's largest multicultural TV station has cut ties with an Arabic language program following a report by B’nai Brith Canada that uncovered "anti-Semitic rhetoric used by the program online.”
Lama TV bills itself as “the largest Canadian Arabic TV show that airs on OMNI and OMNI 2 National Television channels.”
After a speaker at the June 8 public vigil for the victims of the anti-Muslim attack in London, Ontario claimed that the incident was a result of “whatever is happening in Jerusalem and Gaza,” B’nai Brith and other Canadian Jewish organizations immediately condemned the speaker’s remarks, pointing out that the suspect Nathaniel Veltman is not Jewish or Israeli.
“Lama TV took issue with this, tweeting the next day: ‘Veltman is a Jewish surname. Prove to us it isn’t.’ That tweet remains live as of today, despite unequivocal evidence that Veltman is not Jewish,” said B’nai Brith. “Disinformation like Lama TV’s tweet plays directly into hateful conspiracy myths and inflames animosity against Canadian Jews, including online.”
Additionally, a video posted to Lama TV’s Youtube channel features Aggad describing “Jewish Zionists” as people who “break agreements”, labels Israel as a “terrorist state” and repeatedly asks supporters to participate in an “electronic intifada,” according to B’nai Brith.
When informed of the group’s findings, Canadian media giant Rogers told B’nai Brith that it had not broadcast Lama TV since December 2020 due to production issues. However, they pledged not to air the program in the future in view of its extreme rhetoric.
“We commend Rogers for doing the right thing,” said B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn. “There can be no room for anti-Semitism or discrimination of any kind in Canadian media.”
Mostyn added, “B’nai Brith will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that there are consequences for the perpetrators of anti-Semitism in Canada, especially after the outrages our community has witnessed over the past few months.”
In 2017, Rogers similarly stopped broadcasting Arabic-language show “AskMirna” after B’nai Brith drew attention to Holocaust denial and glorification of terrorism against Israel, which it termed “the rapist entity.”