The Jewish organization B’nai Brith Canada is demanding an apology from a Quebec talk show host who sympathized on the air with anti-Semitic statements.
A woman, who called herself Maria, phoned into Jacques Fabi’s late night radio talk show on 98.5 FM last week.
She started by criticizing Israel for last week’s bombings. Then she began to attack Jewish people and even lauded the Holocaust.
Fabi did not interrupt the woman, but continued the conversation and sympathized with her statements.
“I’d never dare say such a thing,” he said, adding, “though you probably have the right.”
Fabi said that there are consequences for people who speak negatively about Jewish people, especially in Montreal where there is such a significant Jewish population.
Then he went on to sympathize with the caller.
“If you asked me if the Jewish population can sometimes be annoying, I would say yes,” he said.
In total, the conversation lasted for more than four minutes.
Steven Slimovitch, a lawyer for B’nai Brith Canada, said his inbox was flooded with emails from Jewish Quebecers following the broadcast.
“She basically says that Hitler should have finished what he started,” Slimovitch said.
He said that his organization sent a formal letter to the radio station complaining about the comments. B’nai Brith also sent complaints to the CRTC and the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.
Slimovitch said the general director for the radio station, Réal Germain, replied to the complaint and said that measures would be taken to deal with the situation.
David Crête, spokesman for 98.5 FM, said that sanctions have been taken against Fabi. “The comments that were aired earlier this week are unacceptable … Hosts and journalists are subject to ethical rules. If they are not met, penalties are applied,” he stated.Slimovitch is asking for Fabi to apologize on air formally.
“There’s no place for comments like that on a radio station. These are unacceptable comments and they beg a formal apology on the air,’ he said.
B’nai Brith has asked CBC not to post the full interview, because it would further publicize anti-semitic comments.