IN THE MATTER OF A DEFAMATORY PUBLICATION CONTRARY TO SECTION 5 OF THE LIBEL AND SLANDER ACT:
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BERNIE FARBER and CANADIAN JEWISH CONGRESS
NOTICE OF LIBEL
Pursuant to section 5 of the Libel and Slander Act, RSO 1990, the Plaintiff, David Noble, hereby complains of the defamatory content of an article published by the Toronto Star, entitled, “Memo Stirs Controversy at York U” attached hereto as Appendix “A”, which continues to be published on-line as an archived document linked to the Toronto Star website, at the following internet address or URL:
(Tiny URL substituted for original)
The article was originally published in print form on November 21, 2004 in the Toronto Star, thereafter it has been available and has continued to be published on-line each day until the date of this notice, i.e. January 29, 2008. The instant notice relates to each internet publication and republication of the attached article in the last six weeks.
The attached article is written by Prithi Yelaja and published by the Toronto Star, which maintains an active archived link to the article from the Toronto Star web site. The article can be accessed on-line for $3.95 Canadian plus applicable taxes. The article refers to the Plaintiff Noble’s request for an apology pursuant to what he refers to as “…scurrilous attacks” [on his character and attempts to squelch his freedom of speech]. The article describes Noble’s demand as being in response to the Defendant Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) statement that Noble was spreading “anti-Semitic” material on the York University campus. In the face of Noble’s request for an apology, however, the CJC and the Defendant Farber have to date failed to retract or apologize for their condemnation of Noble.
In particular, the Defendant Farber reiterates in the ongoing publication that Noble’s message is anti-Semitic. Farber’s message through its explicit content and context identifies Noble as being anti-Semitic on the basis of Noble’s having distributed a flyer that lists names of directors of the York University Foundation and their links to pro-Israel organizations. The Plaintiff complains of and identifies the most concerning statements within the article as follow in respect of the Defendant Farber in his capacity as Executive Director of the CJC:
The material, which appears to suggest that a small cabal of Jews runs the foundation, is reminiscent of classic Jewish conspiracy theories, Bernie Farber, executive director of the congress, said yesterday.
The article also attributes the following statement specifically to the Defendant Farber:
Not only is this absurd, it reeks of anti-Semitism… It’s bizarre, and if this wasn’t coming from an academic, one would laugh it off. The fact that it’s coming from an academic should scare people.
The statements attributed to the Defendants Canadian Jewish Congress and Farber are harmful to the Plaintiff’s reputation in the nature of his trade and calling. The Defendants’ comments falsely describe the flyer distributed by the Plaintiff in November 2004 as anti-Semitic, conspiratorial, harmful, threatening and targeted against Jews on the basis of their religion or ethnicity. Moreover, in their context, the comments of the Defendants suggest several false conclusions and reasonable inferences may be drawn therefrom, which are defamatory and harmful to the Plaintiff’s reputation including the following:
1. That the Plaintiff intentionally seeks to harm or wishes harm to come to Jews;
2. That the Plaintiff shares commonalities with other groups or persons who have historically persecuted Jewish people;
3. That the Plaintiff is not a serious academic;
4. That the Plaintiff is a person who lacks integrity and decency;
5. That the Plaintiff is an irrational person whose ideas should be rejected;
6. That the Plaintiff as an academic should be feared because he is intent on attacking Jews and that he may continue to do so through his academic discipline;
7. That the Plaintiff indoctrinates or passes on harmful, prejudicial and stereotypic ideas regarding Jews to the students he teaches or within the academe more broadly;
8. That the Plaintiff’s views should not be tolerated by the general public;
9. That the Plaintiff because he is publicly condemned by the Canadian Jewish Congress is not welcome in social and cultural milieus of Canadian Jews.
Contrary to the assertions of the Defendants and the inferences that may be drawn from their public statements contained in the article attached hereto, the Plaintiff has stated since November 2004 and it is a fact that the material complained of, i.e. his flyer, does not single out any person on the basis of ethnicity or religion.
The Plaintiff requests the Defendants named in the heading of this notice to immediately apologize, correct and request the Toronto Star to cease the continued on-line publication of the attached article.
The named Defendants in the heading of this notice are advised that the Plaintiff may initiate a legal action against them in conformity with section 6 of the Libel and Slander Act for the publication of defamatory comments identified herein and as contained in the article attached hereto.
Dated: January 29, 2008
HAMEED FARROKHZAD & ST-PIERRE
Solicitors for the Plaintiff,