Canadian media giant drops Arabic TV station over anti-Semitic rhetoric

Multicultural Omni TV will no longer air Lama TV’s programming.

By World Israel News Staff

OMNI, Canada’s largest multicultural television channel, said it is no longer broadcasting programming from an Arabic-language station over recent anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Lama TV, founded and produced by Lama Aggad, describes itself as “the largest Canadian Arabic TV show that airs on OMNI and OMNI 2 National Television channels.” Its self-described goal is to “create a bridge between Arabs in Canada and Arabs in the Middle East.”

OMNI is owned by Rogers Sports & Media, a subsidiary of Rogers Communications.

On June 8, at a vigil for the victims of an anti-Muslim attack in London, Ont., a speaker claimed that the crime was linked to “whatever is happening in Jerusalem and Gaza.” Nathaniel Veltman, a 20-year-old, was arrested and charged with running over a family of Pakistani immigrants with a truck, killing four and injuring another.

B’nai Brith Canada condemned the speaker’s remarks, pointing out that Veltman is neither Jewish nor Israeli. Numerous reports quoted Veltman’s friends describing him as a devout Christian.

In response, Lama TV tweeted the next day: “Veltman is a Jewish surname. Prove to us it isn’t.” That tweet remains live as of today.

Screen grab of the Lama TV tweet that got the station kicked off of Omni TV.

 

When B’nai Brith brought these matters to the attention of Rogers, the Canadian media giant clarified that it had not broadcast Lama TV since December of 2020 for “production reasons,” but went on to pledge that it would never work with the program again in light of its anti-Semitic rhetoric.

“Disinformation like Lama TV’s tweet plays directly into hateful conspiracy myths and inflames animosity against Canadian Jews, including online,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “We commend Rogers for doing the right thing. There can be no room for anti-Semitism or discrimination of any kind in Canadian media.”

On another occasion, in a video posted to Lama TV’s YouTube account, Aggad described “Jewish Zionists” as people who “break agreements,” labeled Israel a “terrorist state” and urged viewers to launch an “electronic intifada.”

In 2017, Rogers dropped another Arabic-language show, called “AskMirna,” after it featured Holocaust denial as well as song and dance glorifying Palestinian terrorism against Israelis.