Anti-abortionists promulgating a new version of the ancient blood libel against Jews are one of three factors a Jewish academician says is responsible for the 57 percent rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents reported in Canada last year.
According to Professor Stephen Scheinberg, a professor of history at Concordia University in Montreal, the other factors are the Skinhead phenomenon and the Alberta appeals court’s reversal in June 1988 of the 1985 conviction of former high school teacher Jim Keegstra for preaching anti-Semitism in his classroom.
Scheinberg, who is chairman of B’nai Brith Canada’s Quebec chapter, said Monday at a news conference of the group’s League for Human Rights that there were 176 anti-Semitic incidents across Canada in 1989 compared to 112 in 1988.
Scheinberg said the publicity given the Keegstra case, which is now before the Canadian Supreme Court on appeal by the Canadian Jewish Congress and B’nai Brith Canada, is partly responsible for the rise.
So are the activities of Skinheads, shaven-headed young hooligans who often sport Nazi-like regalia and attack Jews and other minorities.
The most virulent anti-Semitic campaign is directed against Dr. Henry Morgentaler, a Polish born Jewish physician and Auschwitz survivor who is in the forefront of the movement for government funding of abortions for poor women.
“The anti-abortionists refer to abortions as the ‘real Holocaust,’ thus demeaning the suffering of our people during the Nazi era,” Scheinberg said.
“The anti-abortionists blame Jews for plotting to kill Christian babies through abortions,” he said, with Dr. Morgentaler, who is a gynecologist, “leading the conspiracy.”
Scheinberg said bumper stickers have been spotted in Montreal’s Notre Dame de Grace area reading “Jewish abortionists — more Jewish babies.”
The professor accused the news media of creating a stereotypical image of Jews from data supplied by Statistics Canada, a government institution which issues an annual report on the economic, social and cultural trends in Canada.
The Jewish community is invariably in the top socio-economic bracket, according to the media. This “stereotype of Jews as rich and powerful generates contempt and jealousy among non-Jews,” Scheinberg said.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.