Publication prompts unease over its anti-Jewish articles

Screenshot of Your Ward News
Screenshot of Your Ward News

Your Ward News, a newsletter that openly espouses its admiration for Adolf Hitler, is expanding its presence in Thorncliffe Park, a Toronto neighbourhood with a heavy Muslim presence.

In its most recent edition, distributed about three weeks ago, editor-in-chief James Sears addresses “our Muslim brothers and sisters” under the headline, “Thorncliffe Park jihad against pedophilia; child grooming Marxist exit stage left!”

The 16-page publication features a front page with a pastiche of photos including Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and disgraced former deputy education minister Ben Levin, who are flanked by stone-throwers wearing keffiyahs and the Palestinian flag.

Inside the newsletter, there are Photoshopped images of Adolf Hitler, including one in which he’s wearing a T-shirt decorated with the Palestinian flag;  an article that says “acts of genocide and terror [are] perpetrated against Palestinians by bloodthirsty Zionist Talmudic Jews”; and a claim that today’s Jews are descendants of Khazars, a Turkic tribe.

Screenshot of Your Ward News
Screenshot of Your Ward News

In a particularly disturbing illustration, the publication shows a photo of an infant dressed for Halloween wearing a Nazi uniform and a Hitler mustache.

The newsletter also promotes Sears’ candidacy as an independent in the recently concluded national election. He received 254 votes in Beaches-East York.

Simon Rosenblum discovered the newsletter in his mail box a few weeks ago and found it unsettling. It is openly anti-Jewish, anti-gay and anti-left. It is clear in its admiration for Hitler and it is insulting in its characterization of high profile politicians, he said.

Rosenblum, past president of Canadian Friends of Peace Now Toronto, said he has brought his concerns to Canada Post, which he believes should not be delivering the newsletter.

Canada Post did not respond to The CJN’s request for a comment, but in May, when controversy over Your Ward News first surfaced, a spokesperson said it did not meet the standard for “non-mailable matter.”

Rosenblum has also spoken to the staff of incoming area MP Rob Oliphant, hoping the new Liberal government will discuss the legalities of distributing the material with Canada Post. And he plans to bring his concerns to the attention of Jewish agencies charged with protecting the community.

Avi Benlolo, CEO of Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, said he found the publication’s content “quite disturbing.”

He had brought the organization’s concerns to the attention of the Toronto police hate crimes unit last May and planned to renew a request that it be investigated for its current content.

Sara Lefton, vice-president for Greater Toronto Area with the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, echoed Benlolo’s concerns.

Screenshot of Your Ward News
Screenshot of Your Ward News

“This is a disgusting publication that consistently disparages the Jewish People with crude caricatures and horrifically false accusations. We are dismayed that Canada Post continues to deliver this trash, and we have voiced our concern to them directly.”

Rosenblum said receiving Your Ward News in his mail box made him feel “as if you lived in Germany in 1927. It’s the kind of stuff the Nazis were distributing.”

Rosenblum, who is retired, said Your Ward News boasts that it distributes 77,000 copies and is addressed to Muslims in Thorncliffe Park.

“When you live in an area that has an element within it that are not friendly to Jews and definitely hostile to Israel, you have people here who could be receptive to this message,” he said.