Toronto Star Removes Anti-Semitic Commentary After HRC Complaint

On May 13, HRC communicated our concerns to the Toronto Star about an anti-Semitic comment carried in a letter published to the Star’s website on May 11.

A letter by Morgan Duchesney of Ottawa stated the following: “John Baird claims that Canada is longer a “world referee” and that we “take the side of freedom.” Actually, he and Harper take the side of wealthy Canadian Zionists and evangelical Christian zealots who pour gold into Conservative party coffers.”

In our correspondance with the Star, we relayed that baseless allegations claiming that Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Prime Minister Stephen Harper “take the side of wealthy Canadian Zionists… who pour gold into Conservative party coffers.” does not add to constructive debate and to the marketplace of ideas. Instead, this comment reinforced anti-Semitic tropes of all Jews being wealthy and it stigmatized the Jewish people of Canada with this malevolent stereotype. Would the Star publish a letter claiming Harper and Baird takes the sides of wealthy Canadian blacks, gays, Latinos, environmentalists, women’s groups, etc. who “pour gold into Conservative party coffers”? We think not.

Claiming that Canada’s government sides with Canadian Zionists because they are wealthy crossed the line. As such, we asked the Star to remove this reference from the letter that it had posted to its website. 

We are pleased to report and happy to commend the Toronto Star for agreeing to remove this anti-Semitic statement. For contrast purposes, see the following before and after abstracts:

Before: “John Baird claims that Canada is longer a “world referee” and that we “take the side of freedom.” Actually, he and Harper take the side of wealthy Canadian Zionists and evangelical Christian zealots who pour gold into Conservative party coffers.” 

After: “John Baird claims that Canada is longer a “world referee” and that we “take the side of freedom.” Actually, he and Harper take the side of Canadian Zionists and evangelical Christian zealots who support Conservative party coffers.”

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