Côte Saint-Luc insurance broker Steve Acre is among those who find Huntingdon mayor and V Television Network commentator Stéphane Gendon’s comments on the December 27 edition of his Face a Face talk show abhorrent. Gendron called Israel an "apartheid state" that "does not deserve to exist."
Acre suffered through a frightening childhood in Iraq, where Jews were marked for “extermination.” He did escape as a teenager, finding refuge in Israel and eventually moving to Canada. You can read about his fascinating story here.
Referring to Gendron’s comments, Acre said: “I went bananas. I would like him to compare Israel to places like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and others.”
Acre has an offer for Gendon. “I am willing to contribute $ 500 for the mayor and his wife to fly to Israel and see for themselves, if Israel is as bad as they make it to be,” he said. “I am hoping this way, maybe more people will contribute so we can send this guy to Israel.”
Having worked for the organized Jewish community in the past (11 years at the Canadian Jewish Congress) I am well aware of the successful missions to Israel that have been coordinated with politicians of different stripes in an effort to sensitize them to the plight of the Jewish State. Are Gendron and Khadir hopeless cases? Probably! But wouldn't it be interested to make them such an offer? Steve Acre has got the ball rolling.
Rabbi Reuben Poupko, spiritual leader of the Beth Israel Beth Aaron Congregation in CSL said that he cannot fathom why Gendron was been invited back to share his inflammatory views on a sensitive subject. "He is a dangerous force, a divisive force," said Poupko. "And the fact that the management and ownership of that station continues to tolerate his presence on air as they dismissed him five years ago is bizarre."
Gendron, by the way, also supported the boycott of the Boutique Le Marcheur on St. Denis Street because its sells shoes made in Israel. Here you can see Gendron praise anti-Israel MNA Amir Khadir for his position on the boycott of Le Marcheur.