The editor of an Arab-language news website based in Mississauga, Ont., apologized after the site published an article claiming that Jews sank the Titanic to kill three men on board who were opposed to the proposed Federal Reserve Bank in the United States.
The article, which was written by Ahmed Zaki and published on Ahram-Canada, was flagged by the Elder of Ziyon blog. Later, Honest Reporting Canada noted it. The piece was subsequently deleted, but an excerpt was reproduced on the Elder of Ziyon site, which reads:
“The Jewish Freemasons built the giant Titanic ship and charged it with the fictional costs, only to kill three businessmen, who built it with a magnificent construction, to drag them on board, and then sink them into the ocean floor and bury the secret with them for ever. The (businessmen were against) the idea of creating the Federal Reserve! They loved to be rid of them in order to pave the way for the new world order.”
The businessmen were Jacob Astor, Isidor Straus and Benjamin Guggenheim. Ironically, both Guggenheim and Straus were Jewish.
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Following complaints, Medhat Oweida, Ahram-Canada’s editor-in-chief, pulled the article and all others by the writer and offered an effusive apology. But the damage to his political career was done: Oweida, who was seeking the Conservative party nomination in the federal riding of Mississauga-Streetsville, lost the bid because of the article.
It was a mistake, he told The CJN. While busy seeking the nomination, he delegated running the site to a friend, who picked up the article after only scanning it briefly. The article originally appeared in a Lebanese newspaper and was modified slightly by the writer.
Not only did publishing it cost him the nomination he had been seeking, “I lost a lot of credibility, a lot of work,” he said.
In his written apology, Oweida stated that, “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.”
Oweida took pains to assure readers that the article did not represent his values, or that of the paper:
Once I learned of the existence of the article, I took immediate action to have it removed from the website.
– Medhat Oweida
“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.”
Elder of Ziyon’s anonymous author, who goes by the name Elder, was not available for comment, but he suggested on his blog that since the article was written in Arabic and was reproduced in Arab-speaking countries, the apology should also be in Arabic.
Oweida told The CJN that he is writing an Arabic translation of his English-language apology and will publish it soon.
“I will explain what happened and explain where I stand, that it was not me. I cannot be against Jews. I am a Christian. How can I be against Jews when Jesus was a Jew?” he said.