The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is calling on businesses to stop advertising in a local Arabic-language newspaper on the heels of more controversial content.
This time, Mississauga, Ont.-based Meshwar published a poem that appears to glorify violence against Israelis, CIJA said in a statement.
In Meshwar’s August edition, a poem entitled “Our Children Are Men!” by Dr. Abdulqader Faris of Hamilton, Ont., “appears to be encouraging children to stab Israelis,” CIJA said.
The relevant stanza is:
Or my knife
From my pocket I take out
With it, I stab the occupier
The coward ran away
And hid behind the hill
I don’t care for your bullets
Or your gas bombs
My weapons are onions and vinegar
“We were deeply disturbed, but not surprised, to see another article that appears to celebrate violence,” said Martin Sampson, CIJA’s vice-president. “Given that this outlet is not subject to an oversight body or industry association, and that our attempts at registering our concerns with the publisher directly have been rebuffed, we will continue to call on advertisers to disassociate from the paper.”
Meshwar has a history of promoting anti-Semitism and celebrating terrorism against Israelis.
In 2014, the paper praised the synagogue massacre in the Har Nof neighbourhood of Jerusalem, in which a police officer and four worshippers, including Canadian Rabbi Haim Rothman, were murdered as a “courageous and qualitative” operation.
A 2015 article called Judaism a terrorist religion and said killing is ingrained in the Jewish faith.
In 2017, then-NDP leadership candidate Niki Ashton rejected an endorsement from Meshwar’s editor, Nazih Khatatba, after he described the Holocaust as a “fairy tale.”
A year ago, an article in Meshwar praised three women whose sons carried out or co-ordinated suicide bombings against Israelis on behalf of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.