B’nai Brith Canada called for an independent review of anti-racism seminars funded by the government of Canada after uncovering new evidence of antisemitic content by a contracted organization.

The call came after the Department of Canadian Heritage recently suspended the work of the Community Media Advocacy Centre (CMAC), which was awarded a $133,000 government contract to study alleged racism in the Canadian media. The funding was cut after “virulently antisemitic and racist tweets” tweets by CMAC consultant Laith Marouf came to light.

By the time that its contract was suspended, CMAC had already run half of the six training seminars that were stipulated by its government funding.

However, B’nai Brith demanded an “urgent independent review” after uncovering further troubling “over antisemitism” linked to the CMAC.

B’nai Brith asked Canada’s antisemitism envoy Irwin Cotler to advise the government on an independent review at a meeting this week, which Colter agreed to take on.

“In our call with Special Envoy Cotler, we told him the situation is far worse than simply Marouf’s social media tweets,” said Marvin Rotrand, National Director of B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights. “The seminars paid for with public money contain overt antisemitism. The tapes of the CMAC seminars so far have escaped public scrutiny. They are an eye-opener.”

B’nai Brith noted that CMAC’s Vancouver event held May 14, 2022 commenced “with a hateful diatribe by Marouf in which he falsely claims Israel assassinated journalist Shirheen Abu Akleh, denounces what he calls the ‘Zionist occupation’ while claiming that the Zionist militias committed genocide in 1948.”

“The Jewish community won’t tolerate these lies,” Rotrand said. “It’s outrageous that the videos of these sessions will be in the government archives. Marouf isn’t the only problem. CMAC should never again get a penny of public funding and the lesson here is that Heritage Canada needs a far better contract-vetting process.”

B’nai Brith urged the government to apply the IHRA working definition of antisemitism to contract vetting.

“Doing so would be consistent with the recommendations of the House Standing Committee on Public Security and National Security, which recently noted that antizionism is a driver of global antisemitism,” it said in a statement.

“Heritage Canada needs to do this immediately,” Rotrand concluded. “B’nai Brith viewed the seminars and concluded that Marouf’s portions reduced the educational value in them. Marouf’s presentation on April 30, 2022 enthused that Canada’s constitution is problematic at its core. I think most Canadians would be shocked to see these videos and wonder how their taxes can support something like this.”

B’nai Brith explained that “in addition to targeting Jews, Marouf’s widely publicized tweets expressed regret that too few Americans were killed in Vietnam, denounced Canada as a racist colonialist society, and according to the Journal de Montreal, called francophones in Canada ‘French frogs’ and stupid.”

Canada’s Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, Ahmed Hussen, recently denounced Marouf’s tweets and cut CMAC’s funding, suspending the project and stating that antisemitism was unacceptable.

But B’nai Brith said Heritage Canada should go further and called on the agency to demand all government funds paid to CMAC be reimbursed.