Developers sue poster’s author for defamation
WINNIPEG — Gordon Warren says he’s not an antisemite and that he’s just trying to raise awareness of alleged corruption at Winnipeg City Hall.
The man behind the notorious “$hitler’s List” posters also claims that he didn’t realize most of the names on that list were Jewish until after he began posting his posters in downtown Winnipeg last fall. He further claims he was shocked at the response.
But while Manitoba’s attorney general and Winnipeg police have declined to press charges against the failed city council candidate, brothers Robert and Sandy Shindleman have sued him for defamation and are asking for an injunction stopping him from making further accusations on his blog, as well as for general, punitive and special damages and that he pay their court costs.
The brothers statement of claim says the “untrue and defamatory statements of the defendant were made deliberately, with malicious intent, and were motivated by racism and antisemitism,” and that they “constitute hate speech,” the Winnipeg Free Press reported.
The Shindleman brothers are among western Canada’s leading property developers and commercial realtors. They’re also longtime friends and business associates of Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz.
In January, Warren acknowledged that he produced the posters. The attorney general’s office declined to bring charges because they didn’t explicitly promote genocide, a B’nai Brith Canada attorney told the National Post.
The Shindlemans’ suit primarily accuses Warren of libel, but it also claims the brothers were the victims of hate speech. If the hate speech claim is proven, the court could issue an injunction stopping Warren from saying anything more about the brothers.
Warren has noted in his blog postings that Shindico, the brothers’ company, has won several untendered city hall contracts during Katz’s tenure (he is in his third term), including a land swap between Shindico and the Winnipeg Fire Department that came to light last summer and had not been approved beforehand by city council.
He also referred in his postings to Katz’s purchase of a home in Scottsdale, Ariz., from Sandy Shindleman’s sister-in-law. Katz reportedly paid $1 million for the property.
But the brothers claim Warren did more than publicly allege they’ve been involved in irregularities. They say he has accused them of shady transactions in their dealings with city hall and the transaction in Arizona.
They also say Warren contacted Revenue Canada, U.S. tax authorities and the Phoenix FBI office about the Arizona deal, alleging that the Shindlemans were involved in “bribery, fraud and money laundering.” In a Feb. 20 blog post, Warren said the FBI and the IRS are investigating the deal.
Warren may claim he’s not on an antisemite, but his blog (bringkatztojustice.blogspot.ca) suggests otherwise. In a Feb. 23 post, under the heading, “the Katz Doctrine,” he listed what he suggested are Katz’s “Ten Commandments”:
“1) God is never angry about the Jews, just about the Non-Jews. 2) Who wants to be smart shall occupy himself with money matters, because there are no corner pillars in the Torah that are more important, because they are like a sparkling fountain. 3) The possessions of the goyim are like an ownerless desert, and everybody (every Jew) who seizes it, has acquired it. 4) Non-Jewish property belongs to the Jew who uses it first.
“5) The Jew is allowed to practice usury (loansharking) on the non-Jew. 6) Jews may steal from non-Jews. 7) Jews always have to try to deceive non-Jews. 8) Jews may lie to non-Jews. Jews may use lies (subterfuges) to circumvent a gentile. 9) Every Jew is allowed to use lies and perjury to bring a Non-Jew to ruin. 10) If a Jew is tempted to do evil, he should go to a city where he is not known and do the evil there.”
The case will be heard in the Court of Queen’s Bench starting March 26.
With files from JTA