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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/m/mcvay.ken/press/Montreal_Gazette.981226



Montreal Gazette, December 26, 1998, p. A4

"Shining light on Internet's seedier sites: Police are investigating a
  mysterious racist Web site based in Quebec that uses anti-Semitic
  literature to attack Jews."
by Kate Swoger

The provincial police are investigating a Web site produced
in Quebec that is disseminating hate propaganda against Jews.

     The investigation of the site, called Ressources Patriotiques
Euro-Quebecoises, was launched in August after the Simon Wiesenthal
Centre for Holocaust Studies in Toronto filed a complaint with the
police.

     So far, the police do not know the identity or affiliations of the
author, said Constable Gerard Carrier, of the Surete du Quebec.

     On the site, the author is called D.L.

     But the SQ hope to find out more about D.L. after obtaining a
warrant this month to search for information about the site's source
from TotalNet, the company that provided the author with Internet
service, Carrier said.

     The group of self-described racists who run the site call for the
separation of racial groups and attack Jews in particular.

     "It's clear to anyone who looks at that site that it attempts to
resurrect some of the most vile anti-Semitic canards that had been
relegated to the dustbin of history," said Rabbi Reuben Poupko, who
leads the Beth Israel Beth Aaron congregation in Cote St. Luc.

     He said he would like to see the site shut down, although he
concedes that policing the Internet, an international medium, is
difficult.

     "As anyone who has used the Internet knows, it is notoriously
difficult to stop a Web site. Once it is shut down in one place, it
can open up somewhere else on a mirror site," Poupko remarked.

     "Even if it is shut down here, it's not a panacea."

     Although the site originated on the local TotalNet network, it is
also carried on a mirror site in the United States, where it's not a
crime to circulate hate propaganda on the World Wide Web.

     After Toronto's Ernst Zundel was forced to move his Web site with
Holocaust-denial material several times because of public pressure
against his Canadian providers, he moved it to the United States.

     Poupko argues that the service provider bears a certain amount of
responsibility for ensuring that its clients aren't circulating hate
material.

     No one at TotalNet could be reached for comment.

     On the opening page of the Ressources Patriotiques Euro-Quebecoises

site, under the heading "Warning," 10 disclaimers are listed.

     The author claims the site is not illegal, adding: "If this site
offends you, that's your problem. There is nothing forcing you to
visit it, you are free to read what you want."

     Poupko said the warnings amount to little more than an anticipated
legal defence.

     "All it is, is an amateurish attempt at a fig leaf," he said.

     "Anybody with a functioning mind and common sense understands that
this is propagating hate against the community."

     The site attacks Jews by citing seemingly threatening passages from

the Talmud directed toward Gentiles. It presents passages that state
Jews are allowed to rape and kill Gentiles with impunity. "This is what
anti-Semitic literature used to look like - attacks
on the Talmud and misreading and distortions of the Talmud," Poupko
said.

     "It's sad that people continue to resurrect these ideas."

     The mirror site has received about 850 hits. The original site has
been unavailable because of excessive traffic, according to a
computerized message from its service provider.

     Poupko said a regrettable part of the problem with making a public
case against the group is that it gives them more publicity.

     "But we have to expose this to the light of day, and only then can
it be dealt with honestly."

     This isn't the first time the Simon Wiesenthal Centre has taken
issue with hate-mongering on Web sites. About a year ago, the
centre's Canadian director asked British Columbia's attorney-general
to prosecute an Internet service provider operating in Oliver, B.C.

     Sol Littman accused the company, Fairview Technology Centre, of
providing users with access to more than a dozen sites that violated
Canadian hate laws.

     Other groups have taken a different approach to such sites,
choosing instead to set up their own sites aimed at picking apart
neo-Nazi propaganda.

     Ken McVay, a Vancouver Islander who has spent countless hours
surfing the Web in search of lies spread by Holocaust deniers, has
set up a site called Nizkor - http://www1.us. nizkor.org - with more
than 4,000 documents detailing the atrocities committed at Nazi
death camps.
    Copyright Montreal Gazette 1998




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