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Question for Bartley Kives, re Antisemitic Posters : How many antisemitic emails did you get?

by Rhonda Spivak, September 16, 2012

Many of my readers are probably aware of the fact that police are investigating antisemitic posters targeting Mayor Sam Katz and other Jewish Winnipeggers were plastered across downtown on Friday night.

I am posting a photo of this disgusting poster because I want to make sure that all of my readers have a chance to see it--and be shocked by it.

Readers of the Winnipeg Sun are able to see the actual poster on line by clicking here:

Anti-Semitic posters target Katz, Aspers, Shindlemans

Readers of the Winnipeg Free Press are not able to see the poster. In an article entitled 'Police Investigating Anti-semitic Posters," The Winnipeg Free Press wrote that, "The Free Press is not publishing a photo of the poster or quoting directly from it in order to prevent the spread of its anti-Semitic smear."

Two different publications, two different approaches.

CBC News reported that "According to a police news release, officers were dispatched after receiving a complaint around 9:30 p.m. CT Friday about "questionable or inappropriate posters" that had been put up in the downtown area." The police release did not include any images of the posters.

Note that the police press release does not identify the posters as antisemitic or a hate crime but as "questionable or inappropriate posters," a way of describing them that in my view clearly underplays the fact that the poster at its heart is extremely antisemitic. It is disheartening to learn that the police were unable in their release to call it as it is--antisemitic. That to me is as disturbing as the poster itself.

As Dr. Catherine Chatterley, founding director of the Canadian Institute of Antisemitism has written to the Winnipeg Jewish Review, just because the poster doesn't have the word Jew on it doesn't mean it's not antisemitic:

"The posters found in Winnipeg's downtown area on September 14, 2012 are extremely disturbing and reflect a mindset that is deeply antisemitic. The posters target and therefore threaten specific individuals by name by placing them on a kind of 'Jewish hit list.' They make explicit reference to Adolf Hitler and employ classic antisemitic phrases and imagery as cues to the reader, such as 'shady deals,' 'dirty money,' 'cabal of cockroaches.' Antisemitism is a deeply embedded cultural code in Western society. One can clearly communicate a hateful, conspiratorial, antisemitic message without using the word 'Jew' directly and that is precisely what these posters are designed to accomplish. They are also used to publicly demonize and humiliate these individuals as Jews (whether or not they are actually Jewish) and that is an outrageous and despicable act. The poster and its hateful message should be condemned in public by all principled people."

Bartley Kives has written in the Winnipeg Free Press something which in my view makes this whole episode worse by disclosing that in reporting on recent events surrounding the Mayor, he started receiving emails from antisemites. Here's that he has written:

"I am a Jewish newspaper reporter who often writes critical news stories about a Jewish mayor. And in recent weeks, some of those stories included the mayor's friendship with the city's chief administrative officer, who's also Jewish."

"To a virulent anti-Semite, any connection between two Jews who have any form of public profile makes for fantastic source material. My recent work must be like catnip to a scumbag hatemonger with access to a photocopier and a roll of tape."
'So while I'm angered to see the old stereotypical libels re-emerge, I cannot claim to say I am surprised. I even told an editor and colleagues at other media outlets to expect this sort of garbage last week, after I started receiving emails from anti-Semites along the same conspiratorial lines."[emphasis added]

What I want to know is how many antisemitic emails has Kives received?


Did Kives report any of these as antisemitic instances to B'nai Brith Canada and if not why not?

Were there names of targeted individuals in these emails?

Is he going to show police those emails? Is there a way of identifying who those emails are from?

Is it usual for Kives to get antisemitic emails when reporting on stories that involve Jews?

It seems to me that the subject of antisemitic emails may well be a worthy topic for one of Kives's articles. Just how much is out there?

I sent an email to Kives today asking the following questions:

1. Can you tell me approximately how many antisemitic emails you have received recently?

2. Are those emails you can report to Bnai Brith or is there a Free Press policy that restricts your sharing them with anyone?

3. Would they be allowed to be shared with Winnipeg Police in investigating the matter of the antisemitic posters ?


He has declined to comment. 


Here is the text of the poster: