Tuesday, December 04, 2018

  • Tuesday, December 04, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
After seeing the recent self-serving "apologies" for offending Jews offered by Linda Sarsour and Marc Lamont Hill, it is (almost) refreshing to see what looks far more like a real apology for antisemitism.

Last week I reported on an absurd antisemitic conspiracy theory published by a Canadian Arabic newspaper that claimed that the building of the Titanic was a Freemason/Jewish conspiracy to force three bankers who opposed the Federal Reserve to be killed on its maiden voyage.

I noted that the editor in chief of the newspaper was running for office, and a Canadian journalist made inquiries about the article, prompting the editor to issue this apology:

Important Message to Readers From Medhat Oweida, Editor-in-Chief

Late last night it was brought to my attention that an article was submitted on our online newspaper whose content was offensive and anti-Semitic. The article in question was published on November 11, 2018 by the editor who oversaw the submission process for incoming contributions to the website.

As the editor-in-chief, I would typically be involved in the approval process of any submissions. However, since October 1st, I had delegated this responsibility as I was focused on seeking the CPC Nomination in the federal riding of Mississauga-Streetsville.

I would like to make the following clear:

I do not share the views of the author of the article in question, and I categorically condemn views which spreads hate directed toward any group.

Once I learned of the existence of the article, I took immediate action to have it removed from the website.

The author of the article has been banned from accessing the website.

We immediately parted ways with the editor who permitted the publication of the article.

We are conducting a thorough search of the archives for any other submissions by the same author to ensure removal and to declare we have no association.

We commit to work to improve the submission process to prevent such events from occurring in the future.

As a human rights activist, I spent most my life fighting hatred around the world. As a Canadian Egyptian writer, I have been a proponent of peace between Egypt and Israel and have written articles in support of the peaceful solution of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

In addition, I stand against terrorism and the hate attached to such activities. Part of this fight against extremism is standing for the rights of those who face persecution around the world, in particular members of different minorities, such as the Coptic community in Egypt, Christians in Iraq, Syria and Pakistan, and the Jewish community in the Middle East at large.

I deeply regret the offence caused as a result of the publishing of this article. Please be assured it does not reflect my beliefs and I am confident that it will not be repeated in our publication.
This is a real, well written and authentic-sounding apology, complete with concrete actions to ensure that it doesn't happen again. Firing the editor that allowed the publication is an especially bold and appreciated move. There is no justification in this apology at all for what happened, no equivocation, no excuses.

There is only one problem, though:

The offensive article was written in Arabic, but the apology is only written in English.

It seems to me that Medhat should also write an article in Arabic for the Arabic-language readers of his news site - many of whom live in Egypt and other north African countries. Medhat is doing everything he can to ensure that his political career is not hurt by this incident, but if he really cared about human rights and was really against antisemtism as he claims, shouldn't he write an article denouncing antisemitism in Arabic for his Arabic readers?

Antisemitism is rife in the Arab world. Medhat knows this. If he really wanted to contribute to human rights and peace, he would be fighting antisemitism not only in Canada but also where many of his readers are in Egypt and other Arab countries. If he would have translated his apology to Arabic, then that would have shown without a doubt that his apology was sincere. Unfortunately, his failure to do so makes this apology - as well done and as welcome as it is - appear to be political rather than heartfelt.





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