Quebec – A woman identified only as Maria has created an uproar in Quebec’s Jewish community following her phone call to late-night talk show host Jacques Fabi’s radio program on 98.5 FM last week. Maria initially called in to condemn Israel for its military action in Gaza, but then began attacking Jewish people and praising the Holocaust.
According to a report by CBC News (http://bit.ly/QEtu5e), not only did Fabi fail to interrupt the woman during her four-minute diatribe, he even sympathized with her, saying, “I’d never dare say such a thing, though you probably have the right.” Fabi went on to add that there are repercussions for speaking ill of Jewish people, particularly in Montreal which has a sizeable Jewish population. “If you asked me if the Jewish population can sometimes be annoying, I would say yes,” Fabi added.
Now B’nai Brith Canada is demanding an apology from Fabi and has filed a formal complaint with the radio station, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, and the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.
“She basically says that Hitler should have finished what he started,” said Steven Slimovitch, an attorney for B’nai Brith Canada, who says the organization was inundated with e-mails from concerned Jewish Quebecers after the broadcast aired. “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 added.
The station’s general manager has said appropriate measures will be taken to respond to the situation. 98.5 FM Spokesman David Crête said in a statement that sanctions have already been imposed on Fabi, but declined to say what the sanctions entailed. “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.”