ADL Accuses Quebec Candidate of Anti-Semitism for ‘Kosher Tax’ Claim

April 1, 2014 10:35 am 1 comment
A diagram from the charter of Quebec values illustrating banned religious symbols for public employees. Photo: Screenshot / www.nosvaleurs.gouv.qc.ca.

A diagram from the charter of Quebec values. Photo: Screenshot.

The Anti-Defamation League on Tuesday accused Louise Mailloux, a candidate for the province’s National Assembly, of anti-Semitism after learning about her ”religiously intolerant statements” regarding a “kosher tax” she accused Canada’s Jews of levying on their countrymen.

The ADL said it was also concerned that no Canadian authorities had yet stepped up to condemn Mailloux’s statements, at a time when a debate over religious identity roars in Quebec after the Canadian province has made many feel ”that their religious freedom is coming under attack” by a proposed bill that would restrict all outward signs of religion, with the exception of a Christian cross, for public employees.

The ADL said the “notion of a ‘kosher tax’ is a decades-old extremist conspiracy theory claiming that kosher certification on food product labels forces consumers to pay extra for the financial benefit of religious individuals and institutions.  In actuality, the cost to the consumer for this service is a miniscule fraction of the total overhead production.”

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said, “The silence of Quebec’s political leadership in the face of Mailloux’s overt, unabashed, anti-Semitic and anti-religious slander speaks volumes and is particularly alarming given the sense many in Quebec have that their religious freedom and accommodation are under attack by the proposed ‘Charter of Values’ being promoted by the Parti Québécois.”

“Unfortunately, the failure of leadership to stand up to this hatred has only aggravated an already tense atmosphere, in which Jews and other religious minorities feel their religious freedoms and rights are being questioned and threatened,” Foxman said.

Mailloux, a philosophy professor and PQ candidate in the upcoming April 7 provincial elections, told reporters that she stood by what she said about the “kosher tax” as creating a financial benefit for the Jewish community. She referred to kosher and halal certification as “theft” and a “religious tax” directly paid to religious institutions.

After some pressure, Mailloux issued a statement that did not retract the assertions, but in which said that she “never wanted to offend or hurt anyone. If that has happened, I very sincerely apologize.”

The head of the PQ, Pauline Marois, defended Mailloux, saying “Her writings are eloquent, I respect her point of view.”

The ADL said that in September 2013, the PQ proposed Bill 60, a “Charter of Values,” which would ban public employees in the province from wearing “overt and conspicuous” religious garb and large religious jewelry, including kippot, hijabs, niqabs, and turbans.  Supporters of the bill claim that just as state employees are mandated to be “politically neutral” in the workplace, they should also be “religiously neutral.” The bill would affect all public employees including educators, hospital employees, and day care workers. Many minority groups, including the Jewish community, have expressed strong opposition to Bill 60 as a violation of religious freedom.

1 Comment

  • Jean Ouellette

    You are absolutely right. I am not sure this verdict will reach any of the Québec politicians

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Book Reviews Personalities Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    JNS.org – There is one sentence in “Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel” that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of. On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →
  • Analysis Arts and Culture Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    JNS.org – One of the most controversial operas in recent memory, “The Death of Klinghoffer,” debuted Oct. 20 at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. The Met has scheduled seven more performances through November. The first staging did not occur without protest, as about 400 demonstrators—including Jewish communal and nationally recognized leaders—came to Lincoln Center to denounce the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel opera. “Klinghoffer,” the creation of composer John Adams and librettist Alice Goodman, premiered in 1991—with few additional stagings. The opera is based [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot is in negotiations to take on the female lead role in the remake of the 1959 classic Ben-Hur, according to The Hollywood Reporter. If the deal is finalized Gadot will play Esther, a slave and Ben-Hur’s love interest. Actor Jack Huston will star as the Jewish prince who is betrayed into slavery by his childhood friend Messala, played by Toby Kebbell. Ben-Hur fights for his freedom and vengeance with the help of Morgan Freeman’s character, who trains Ben-Hur how to win at chariot-racing. [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    JNS.org – Baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie are the American dream. So why do two young men who have built their lives in Israel have a GoFundMe crowd-funding webpage with the urgent message that they need $3,000 to travel to the U.S. to watch the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles square off for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) American League championship? Brothers Naftali and Yoni Schwartz, 27 and 25, respectively, are Kansas City natives. Even though they made aliyah with their [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Some 3,000 years ago, King David probably never imagined cars racing at 240 kilometers per hour (150 miles per hour) through the ancient capital of the Jewish people. But on Monday and Tuesday, October 6-7, thousands of Israelis lined the streets to watch Porsche, Audi, and Ferrari race cars fly through the capital against the backdrop of the Tower of David, the Old City Walls, and other city landmarks. The second annual non-competitive Jerusalem Formula One Road Show had been [...]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James expressed interest in visiting Israel someday, local news site Cleveland.com reported on Sunday. Speaking to Israeli reporters before the Cleveland Cavaliers’ preseason debut against Maccabi Tel Aviv, the NBA star said he had never visited the Jewish state but “I want to look forward to going there if I get an opportunity to.” When asked by an Israeli reporter if there was “any chance that LeBron James and Cleveland comes to Tel Aviv,” the athlete said [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    A Florida-based Chabad rabbi put former basketball star, U.S. Congressman Curt Clawson to shame on the court when the two faced off one-on-one recently. A YouTube video, posted online on Tuesday, shows Rabbi Fishel Zaklos of Chabad of Naples shooting hoops with the Florida politician, who played basketball in high school and at Purdue University in Indiana. The game took place in the parking lot of the Chabad Jewish center run by Zaklos. During the 1-minute clip, Zaklos scores two impressive [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.