A Canadian television channel has cancelled one of its programmes after the programme’s Twitter account used “antisemitic rhetoric” in a post, B’nai Brith Canada reported last Wednesday.
OMNI is a multicultural television channel owned by Rogers Sports & Media which aired Lama TV, a programme founded by Lama Aggad that was self-described as “the largest Canadian Arabic TV show that airs on OMNI and OMNI 2 National Television channels.”
However, after an inflammatory post in which Lama TV’s Twitter account accused a Christian terrorist of having a Jewish last name, OMNI dropped the programme from its schedule.
The post was in response to B’nai Brith Canada’s tweet, in which the Jewish group wrote: “Deeply disturbing to hear a speaker at tonight’s vigil for the London hate attack victims claim that the tragedy is linked to ‘whatever is happening in Jerusalem and Gaza.’ The London suspect is not Jewish.”
Lama TV replied by saying: “Veltman is a Jewish surname. Prove to us it isn’t.”
B’nai Brith Canada wrote in their report of the incident that “Disinformation like Lama TV’s tweet plays directly into hateful conspiracy myths and inflames animosity against Canadian Jews, including online. In addition, in a video posted to Lama TV’s YouTube account, [Ms] Aggad describes ‘Jewish Zionists’ as people who ‘break agreements,’ labels Israel, the world’s only Jewish state, a ‘terrorist state’ and repeatedly calls on viewers to launch an ‘electronic intifada’.”
B’nai Brith Canada raised the incident with Rogers Sports & Media, at which point the mass media company confirmed that it had not aired Lama TV since December 2020 due to “production reasons”, but also clarified that it would never broadcast the programme again as a result of its “antisemitic rhetoric”.
Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada, said: “We commend Rogers for doing the right thing. There can be no room for antisemitism or discrimination of any kind in Canadian media. B’nai Brith will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that there are consequences for the perpetrators of antisemitism in Canada, especially after the outrages our community has witnessed over the past few months.”
Last week, we wrote that Canadian Jews had faced their “highest ever” number of antisemitic incidents recorded in a month during May. This news came after our report of Canada’s significant increase in antisemitic incidents during the conflict between Hamas and Israel.
Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, offered his support to Canada’s Jews. In a tweet, he wrote: “I am deeply disturbed by recent reports of antisemitic acts in Montreal and across the country. This intimidation and violence is absolutely unacceptable – and it must stop immediately. There is no place for hate of any kind in Canada.”