A Quebec media personality is at the centre of a controversy after accusations he made anti-Semitic remarks on a Montreal radio show last week.
The appearance followed a column he had written in Le Journal de Montreal in which he talked about the Jewish diaspora's alleged power to make "Washington, Paris or Ottawa" submit to its demands.
He continued this thread on radio, saying, "The diaspora is scattered around the world, where they take economic control, provoke the hatred of local nations, whether it is in Spain, for example, with the Inquisition, or again later with Adolf Hitler.”
According to Proulx, Jews not only attract hatred from other minorities or groups of individuals — resulting in possible persecution — but also control governments with economic power.
A radio host did not correct or interrupt Proulx after he made his comments.
Representatives for both the broadcaster and for Proulx have yet to address the remarks.
But the Quebec division of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is calling his words "classic anti-Semitism" in a statement to JNS.org.
“We’re disappointed that this kind of discourse goes unchecked and unchallenged,” CIJA spokeswoman Eta Yudin said.
Proulx, 74, carries a controversial reputation, having ranted against indigenous people in the 1990s.
Back in 2005, he was suspended from his public affairs radio show on TQS over his description of a sex assault victim, Le Devoir reported.
This isn't the first accusation of anti-Semitism to arise amid the latest hostilities in the Middle East.
Last month, a man at a Toronto protest about the Israel-Hamas conflict yelled “The Jews control the media, control the banks, control governments, control everything,” according to the Toronto Sun.
Meanwhile, an RDI radio call-in show opted not to censor a host who expressed approval for callers that equated Jews and Nazis.
CBC later responded with this statement from spokesman Marc Pichette: “RDI managers do not consider that it could be deemed anti-Semitic, even if some of the numerous comments expressed in the show were highly critical of Israel’s bombing of the Gaza strip, drawing a parallel with Nazi Germany.”
A survey released by the Anti-Defamation League in May found that about 14 per cent of Canadians hold anti-Semitic attitudes compared to nine per cent of Americans.
Upon publication of the study, Ira Robinson, a Canadian Jewish Studies professor at Concordia University, told The National Post that historically, Quebec francophones rank higher on the "anti-Semitism scale."
Robinson said French Canadians' beliefs are aligned between France and English Canada. He told the newspaper he was not surprised 37 per cent of French people were anti-Semitic, according to the survey.