Antisemitic posters litter city centre
September 25, 2012 | Jewish Tribune
WINNIPEG – Local police are investigating antisemitic posters put up around downtown Winnipeg a week ago Friday evening, targeting Mayor Sam Katz and other members of the local community.
The posters, which reference Adolf Hitler, accuse Mayor Katz, since being elected in 2004, of funnelling hundreds of millions of dollars into the pockets of a dozen prominent business people (all but two of whom are Jewish).
The messages are not signed and there is no reference to any individual or group who might be behind them. The posters were taken down by police the next day.
David Matas, human rights lawyer and senior counsel for B’nai Brith Canada, said the posters constitute a hate crime.
“It’s testimonial to the permanence of antisemitism. It seems never to stop.... It’s the oldest and the strongest hatred, and it’s kind of discouraging to see it here.”
Late last Saturday afternoon, Katz issued this statement concerning the posters, “I am extremely saddened and disheartened that an individual, or group of individuals, is posting such material. I have faith that the people of Winnipeg will not support such malice.”
B’nai Brith Canada has strongly condemned the posters.
Frank Dimant, the organization’s CEO, stated, “We commend the police for the seriousness with which they are dealing with this disturbing event. Bringing antisemitism into the debate about city hall is simply wrong. Implicating a large group of individuals with the brush of racism is most disturbing.”
Provencher MP Vic Toews, in a statement on his website the day after the incident, stated, “I was shocked and disgusted to learn of the antisemitic posters.... It’s extremely disheartening to see this type of conduct take place in Canada, especially on the eve of Rosh Hashanah.”
Winnipeg Free Press columnist Bartley Kives, wrote, “I am a Jewish newspaper reporter who often writes critical news stories about a Jewish mayor. And in recent weeks, some of those stories included the mayor’s friendship with the city’s chief administrative officer, who’s also Jewish.
“To a virulent antisemite, any connection between two Jews who have any form of public profile makes for fantastic source material. My recent work must be like catnip to a scumbag hatemonger with access to a photocopier and a roll of tape.
“So while I'm angered to see the old stereotypical libels re-emerge, I cannot claim to say I am surprised. I even told an editor and colleagues at other media outlets to expect this sort of garbage last week, after I started receiving emails from antisemites along the same conspiratorial lines.”
B’nai Brith’s Dimant said, “We reiterate the call to assist police in bringing the individual or group of people responsible to justice. Our 24-hour Anti-Hate Hotline is available for any information on this or other acts of antisemitism at 1-800-892-2624.”