An investigation by B’nai Brith Canada – a leading Jewish advocacy group which combats antisemitism and racism – revealed that al-Saraha – a London, Ontario Arab-language newspaper published by Abdul-Hadi Shala (), a Palestinian Arab from the Gaza Strip – engages in gross antisemitism, Holocaust denial and homophobia.
An article called “The Question Which Everyone Ignores: Why Did Hitler Kill the Jews?” which was published in al-Saraha’s June/July 2016 issue accuses Jews of promoting “promiscuity … homosexuality … every type of sexual deviance.”, denies that six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, claims that “Jewish propaganda” inflated the number, and blames Jews for the economic collapses of 1870 and 1920.
Until July 21, after al-Saraha’s Jew-hatred was brought to light, the London and Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership (funded by the Ontario government) had been recommending Al-Saraha as the go-to source of news for Canadian Muslims, including new Muslim immigrants.
Michael Mostyn, CEO Of B’nai Brith, called the article an “obscene form of hate propaganda aimed at Canada’s Jewish community” and said that he is extremely worried that a community newspaper which hosts advertisements from mainstream political parties – including a Ramadan greeting from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Ontario Liberal Caucus in the same issue – publishes antisemitic and Holocaust denying material.
Angry reaction came from across the province Thursday, including from Ontario Deputy Premier Deb Matthews.
"I want to condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the statements in the Al-Saraha article," she said. "Statements like these, filled with hatred, prejudice and lies, have no place in our society."
Matthews says, neither she nor the premier knew the article would be published when they bought advertising space in the magazine. Matthews says the advertising will stop.
Al-Saraha is one of several Arab-language newspapers in Ontario that have been found to contain antisemitic articles, as well as articles supporting-terrorism.
On May 2, 2014, Mississauga-based Arabic newspaper “Meshwar” edited by Dr. Nazih Khatatba who also serves as a board member of Palestine House, which was de-funded by the previous Conservative government for its “pattern of support of extremism”, published an article titled “Why the Holocaust is relevant to us?” by Jordanian Holocaust denier Dr. Ibrahim Alloush who repeated the claim of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that the “Jewish Holocaust is the biggest crime in history”, and alleged that the Jews used the “Holohoax” (as Alloush referred to it) as a pretext to “invade and plunder Palestine” after World War II.
On July 15, 2014, Meshwar published a cartoon featuring Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu as a bloodthirsty vampire eating a Palestinian child.
On February 21, 2014, Khatatba published an editorial slamming Mahmoud Abbas for finally admitting that the Holocaust did transpire. In the editorial, Khatabsa asked: “Why a Palestinian, any Palestinian, has to announce his ‘belief’ in the Holocaust of the Jews, and why should we accept it as truth? Mr. President (Abbas), I reject the subservience expressed in your statements and we demand that you stop degrading our dignity and the dignity of our martyrs and prisoners.”
Al-Forqan, an Arab-language paper based in Windsor, Ontario, founded by Lebanese-born Mohamad Hisham Khalifeh, came under fire in March 2016 when Khalifeh wrote that Palestinian knife attacks against Israeli Jews are a “sacred duty of jihad”. Following a complaint by B’nai Brith, Khalifeh – who held a position with the Windsor Multicultural Council, an agency funded by Immigration and Citizenship Canada and which is entrusted with welcoming and resettlement of Syrian refugees – was subsequently suspended from the Council.
In 2012, Khalifeh, who is well known for his open support of the violent Palestinian struggle against Israel, posted a poem encouraging Palestinians to launch armed attacks on Israelis, liberate Palestine and destroy the State of Israel. In the poem, Khalifeh referred to Israeli Jews as “infidels” and “morally corrupt people.”