MONTREAL (Sep. 25)
The leader of a Quebec nationalist group has warned the province’s Jews that they will face “confrontations” in an independent Quebec if they continue to campaign against separation.
“If there is trouble after Quebec becomes independent, nationalists will remember who was against them,” said Raymond Villeneuve, leader of the National Liberation Movement of Quebec.
Villeneuve made his threatening remarks Monday, as Jews observed Yom Kippur.
The comments come against the backdrop of a passionate debate among Quebecers about the Canadian province’s future.
The controversy has grown in the months since separatists narrowly lost a referendum in October. At the time, then-Premier Jacques Parizeau blamed the loss on the “ethnic vote,” a remark that led to his resignation.
Villeneuve charged that “the major groups fighting separation like Alliance Quebec and the Equality Party were founded by Jews.” He lashed out specifically at Howard Galganov, a Montreal Jew and advertising executive who has emerged recently as a leader in the campaign against separatism.
Earlier this month, Galganov led a busload of supporters to Washington and New York to explain to American politicians and members of the business community how Quebec’s political uncertainty has affected its economy.
“With the latest escapades of Galganov, it is enough. We have to denounce their inexplicable and incomprehensible hostility toward our people and their right to self-determination,” Villeneuve wrote in last Friday’s issue of his monthly newsletter, La Tempete, which has a circulation of 250.
Villeneuve faxed copies of the newsletter to the media last week to inform people that separatists “have had it” with the Anglophone community’s resistance to the nationalist dream.
He also targeted other prominent Jews in Quebec, including Robert Libman, founder and former member of the Equality Party and former member of Quebec’s National Assembly, and internationally renowned author Mordechai Richler.
The newsletter called them “Ashkenazi Jews who have played a leading role in opposing the independence movement.”
Villeneuve, as a founding member of the terrorist group Quebec Liberation Front, served 12 years in prison for planting a bomb in Montreal that killed a security guard.
The terrorist group was founded in the early 1960s to seek Quebec independence. In 1970, the group kidnapped and murdered Quebec Cabinet Minister Pierre Laporte.
The National Liberation Movement of Quebec was founded last year.
On Tuesday, B’nai Brith Canada, together with two other groups, the Black Coalition of Quebec and the Center for Research Action Race Reiations, called on Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard to bring about legislation to outlaw public incitement to hatred, contempt or discrimination against minority groups.