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August 24, 2022
OTTAWA – B’nai Brith Canada is calling on the Government of Canada to conduct an urgent independent review of the work by the Community Media Advocacy Centre (CMAC) in a Government contract awarded to highlight supposed rampant racism in the Canadian media.
The Department of Canadian Heritage recently cut funding and suspended the project, when virulently antisemitic and racist tweets by its CMAC consultant, Laith Marouf, were exposed. CMAC had already carried out three of the six training seminars that were part of the Government project by the time funding was cut.
At a meeting this week, B’nai Brith asked Irwin Cotler, Canada’s Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism, to advise the Government regarding the conclusions of such an independent review. Mr. Cotler agreed.
“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 points to CMAC’s Vancouver event held May 14, 2022. It commences 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 says the contract-vetting process should include applying the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. 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.
The Committee recommended that the “Government of Canada thoroughly reject the demonization and delegitimization of the State of Israel, and condemn all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups, or individuals, including university campus associations, to promote these views, both at home and abroad.”
“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.”
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.
Earlier this week, Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, who had already denounced Marouf’s social media presence as reprehensible and unacceptable, cut CMAC’s funding, suspended the project and said unequivocally there is no room anywhere in Canada for antisemitism.
CMAC was paid $133,000 for a series of six events, three of which have already been held. B’nai Brith is calling on Heritage Canada to demand all disbursements paid to date be reimbursed.