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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

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Jewish groups concerned over Fatima Network meeting

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Shimon Fogel

TORONTO — Jewish groups are concerned that an upcoming meeting of the Fatima Network in Niagara Falls could propagate “radical and hateful views” that target Jews.

B’nai Brith Canada issued a news release warning that the Fatima Network, a conservative Roman Catholic organization, has a history of “radical views and conspiracy theories regarding the Jewish community.

“Their websites are rife with articles and posts blaming Jews for conspiring to destroy the Catholic Church, ‘Zionist billionaires’ for financially ‘raping’ the people of Russia since 1989 and Holocaust denial,” said Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada.

Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) said, “We’re concerned by anti-Jewish content on the Fatima Network’s website, as well as the history of extremist views of some of the speakers slated for the upcoming Niagara Falls conference. Such marginal, even bizarre, messages will gain no traction here in Canada, as they are at odds with the values of the vast majority of Canadians. That said, it’s important that people of goodwill – particularly public officeholders – distance themselves from such extremism.”

Earlier, Salon, the online magazine, republished an article by the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC), a U.S. watchdog organization, about the Niagara Falls conference. It is headlined, “Ron Paul to be keynote speaker at anti-Semitic conference.” Paul is a former U.S. congressman known for his libertarian views.

Coralie Graham, a spokesperson for Fatima Network, rejected suggestions the organization harbours ill-will toward Jews.

“The Fatima Network has nothing against the Jewish people,” she said. “I know that if anyone got up at our conference libelled the Jewish people, we would rectify it.”

Writing on the network’s website, Christopher Ferrara, one of the conference speakers said, “Another day, another amusingly hysterical bulletin from SPLC.

“This story is a perfect example of why SPLC has zero credibility, and why a condemnation by that far-left group of loons has become a badge of honour among the growing number of decent people and groups SPLC has smeared,” he wrote.

 

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