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Flyers order 'hate group' out of Whistler



Anonymous flyers left in both Pique and Whistler Question newsstands Dec. 31 are demanding that a “hate group” be forced out of Whistler.

The flyers are adorned with the headline “HATE GROUP OUT OF WHISTLER NOW” and carry a quote from Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, the deceased leader of Chabad-Lubavitch, a Hasidic Jewish organization that began in the 18 th century. Schneerson died in 1994.

Schneerson’s quote is from an article in the March 2000 issue of the Washington Report of Middle East Affairs . The quote, from a book review by Lincoln Review editor Allan Brownfeld, reads as follows:

“The difference between a Jewish and a non-Jewish person stems from the common expression: ‘Let us differentiate.’ Thus, we do not have a case of profound change in which a person is merely on a superior level. Rather, we have case of ‘let us differentiate’ between totally different species. This is what needs to be said about the body: the body of a Jewish person is of a totally different quality from the body of (members) of all nations of the world… A non-Jew’s entire reality is only vanity. The entire creation (of a non-Jew) exists only for the sake of the Jews.”

The flyers give no indication of who printed them or who to contact about them. The flyers also don’t specify which organizations they’re accusing of being a “hate group.”

For Rabbi Chaim Shapiro of Whistler’s Sinai Centre, an organization that promotes Jewish culture in Whistler, it was a disturbing statement.

“My reaction to this is one of sadness and disappointment that even Whistler is a target for this sort of thinly-veiled hate campaign,” he said in a statement over e-mail.

“While I’m hesitant to dignify this attack with a response, I will say that the views attributed to the Jewish community in this flyer are inconsistent with what I learned in the Jewish seminary and in no way reflect the views I’ve heard from the Jewish people I’ve met in Whistler or anywhere else for that matter.”

Lubavitch B.C. is a branch of the Chabad Lubavitch organization. Overseen by six rabbis and working out of an office in Vancouver, it has a synagogue, Shabbat services and opportunities for Jewish education. Based in New York, Chabad Lubavitch has branches in every continent throughout the world.

Shapiro stressed that the Sinai Centre is not part of the Lubavitch organization, but he was nevertheless distressed by the flyers.

“I have no hesitation in condemning the contents of this flyer and the transparently divisive motivations of those who are distributing it,” he said in his statement.

Patrick Harroch, president of Whistler’s Sh’ar Harim congregation, called the flyer an “ugly and cowardly” display of anti-Semitism.

“The fact that the producer of this flyer has chosen to remain anonymous, and that it relies entirely on a quote from a wholly discredited source, speaks volumes about the motivations of its author,” he said in a statement. “The divisive ideas attributed to the Jewish faith in the flyers circulating around Whistler run entirely contrary to mainstream Jewish thinking.”

Staff Sergeant Steve LeClair with the Whistler RCMP said police hadn’t heard about the flyers until Pique called them. Pique sent him the flyer’s text over e-mail and he responded that it had been forwarded to the appropriate investigating authority.

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