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September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
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Judge: ‘Let’s Burn the Jew’ not Racism, Even if you Burn a Jew

Grabbing a Jewish girl, flicking a lighter next to her hair and saying "let's burn the Jew" is apparently not a racially motivated act in Winnipeg.
Canadian judge ruled flicking a lighter in Jewish girl's hair while saying "let's burn the Jew" not racially motivated

Canadian judge ruled flicking a lighter in Jewish girl's hair while saying "let's burn the Jew" not racially motivated
Photo Credit: Lori Lowenthal Marcus

A high school student grabbed a Jewish female classmate, held a lighter to her hair and said out loud, “let’s burn the Jew,”  but a Canadian judge concluded that the incident was “not racially motivated.”

The incident between two 15 year old Winnipeg, Canada high school students took place in 2011.

The lawyer for the defendant claimed, essentially, it was the girl’s fault her hair caught on fire.

He said his client grabbed the girl, lit the lighter and made the comments, but her hair caught fire when she pulled away. He also said that referring to the girl as “the Jew” was simply the way people interacted at the school, and the defendant was not the only one who called her that. He referred to his client as “a jerk and a bully,” but said the incident was “impulsive and unplanned.”

The defendant’s therapist claimed the incident was an “impulsive teenage action.”

Winnipeg’s Provincial Court Judge Robert Finlayson, before whom the trial was held, agreed with the defense. While he called the act “totally vulgar and inappropriate,” Finlayson said he was satisfied it was not racially motivated.

Given the judge was unwilling to classify saying “let’s burn the Jew” and then actually grabbing a Jew and burning her hair as anti-Semitic, perhaps he should be praised for also stating that the school culture in which this kind of incident was commonplace was was “unhealthy and dark and there’s no place for it in society.”

The victim claimed the incident “changed her world upside down.” She needed therapy to deal with her fears.  She also believes that the people in the school blamed her for making a big deal of the incident.

The now-17 year old defendant was not given any prison time. Instead, the court ordered him to serve 18 months of supervised probation. He also has to seek out counseling, write a letter of apology to the victim and perform 75 hours of community service work, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. In an earlier stage of the prosecution, the defendant pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon.

This story was corrected to reflect that the incident itself occurred in 2011, not 2010, as originally reported. The sentencing and judgment about racial motivation was entered on January 2, 2014.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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119 Responses to “Judge: ‘Let’s Burn the Jew’ not Racism, Even if you Burn a Jew”

  1. Joshua Lim says:

    Lori Lowenthal, you make me sick

  2. Marc Boxbaum says:

    Demons will be demons!

  3. What a piece of crap

  4. Kat Walden says:

    i guess the Canadians have judge problems as well.. what a shame.

  5. It's time we acted out like the other groups. Jewish calm and our DNA which says it will all pass no longer serves us well.

  6. cursing themselves with their own mouths…their choice

  7. The boy should be punished as well as the judge.
    Joshua Lim, it’s clear that you didn’t read the article.

  8. Pretty steep punishment for a teenager who was said to be ‘innocent’. If the judge really thought the little devil was innocent, why not just let his bullying mysogenistic ignorant little squat to pee coward go free? The judge is a coward, that’s why!

  9. Disgusting, pc at it’s worst.

  10. What if I grab a non-Jew by the hair and set his hair on fire while saying, “Let’s burn the Gentile.”

    Would that be a racist/hate crime?

  11. The judge must be a Nazi-loving swine.

  12. Joyce David says:

    Mark Brotherton. Judge didn’t think he was innocent – just didn’t think it was racially motivated. Defendant admitted his actions and even plead guilty to the assault. It’s in the article.

  13. Joyce David says:

    Nicholas Lawrence ThePaladin. It could be – depending on what state or country you’re in.

  14. Pedro Acosta says:

    Little prick is an anti-Semite.

  15. Cori LBere says:

    Why did he do this in the first place…? What the hell was going on in that class…? And where was the teacher?

  16. Not yet. I’d love to do that to the judge though.

  17. I’m not a lawyer. But I’ve heard ‘precedent’ as being important in looking at crime. What about premeditation? There is a precedent, a very historical one of Jews being burnt. Accidentally setting someone on fire is much different than going through the steps preparing to burn someone. Because of the precedent the threat was clear. The idea of this kid’s lawyer saying it was the girl’s fault her hair was ignited is outrageous–she wasn’t expected to struggle, resist and get away? People who complain about the category ‘hate crime’ see crime without extenuating circumstances, but that is not the real situation. For hate crime there is a prior history of attacks just as if there were attempted crimes, and then a completed crime. You can find all kinds of precedent for Jews being systematically burned. But can you see them as single, unrelated crimes? Isn’t the boy’s statement clear enough? Why did he express burning in association with a Jewess? At the least he was choosing a very specific way with a specific historical precedent to terrorize her.

  18. Many countries have changed drastically in the last 15 years with immigration at an all time high. High crime rates are beginning to be he normal. Would be interested to know the racial composition of he boy that did this.

  19. This must be stopped and right now!

  20. i am sure if it was an African American and they said burn the N it would be “racially motivated”

  21. Shimon Riak says:

    Very awful and repugnant. For thousands of years men rejoice in putting others down and this explain why the world continue to descend into hedonism. Very shameful.

  22. He should had got time for the hate crime.

  23. Sue Johnson says:

    Anti-Semitism is alive and well in Canada, too.

  24. Moreyn Kamenir says:

    I am irate. Ready to write this judge a letter, call his office-get friends to storm his doors. . . THEN I read the date. It took FOUR YEARS before this article was written? WTF, man…

  25. David says:

    um. you silly fish all gobbling up this bait in a big race-fueled frenzy,

    the heinous person you should be addressing is the person who chose to race-bait your utterly predictable arrogance and group orgy over a thing that happened FOUR YEARS AGO.
    You may want to revisit the definition of “news”.

  26. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    Moreyn, the judge just imposed the punishment and just made the determination that what happened was not "racially motivated." I don't know where you live, but in most civilized countries an incident occurs, a decision is made whether or not to criminally prosecute, and if they decide to pursue the case, then the prosecution and the defense marshall their positions. In this case there was no trial because the defendant entered a guilty plea to assault with a weapon, but then the defendant underwent lengthy evaluations by mental health professionals. And then this past week the judge ruled on how the defendant would be punished for his crime. All this took over 3 years. That is why this article appeared yesterday.

  27. Moishe Pupik says:

    READING COMPREHENSION 101: The event happened in 2011. The court case was just completed now.

  28. This judge is a racist!

  29. Moreyn Kamenir says:

    Thank you for explaining that in Canada it takes 3 years to ignore what in America is an OBVIOUS 'hate crime'. I pity ANYONE who does such a thing to me. They wouldn't survive.

  30. Moreyn Kamenir says:

    There should be Canadians fighting to have this 'judge' removed but instead…well, it's 'only' a Jew, right? That's just how it appears though, right?

  31. Benny Gamal says:

    If any American Jew patronizes travel to Winnipeg, products made in Winnipeg, attends a hockey game in which Winnipeg competes, or even goes to a movie made in Winnipeg then they are actively or tacitly supporting an anti-Semitic, warped and twisted culture. I would urge Americans in general to reconsider any involvement with Canada altogether, except perhaps, Ontario, where this presumably would not have happened with the same "legal" result.

  32. Cody Flecker says:

    There is anti semitism all over the world, even in "civilized" Canada. There is no excuse for what had happened, but the judge made the right call. Putting this teenager in jail would have accomplished nothing. Community service, and Probation would have been the right choice.

  33. Sometimes I feel like courts are just a waste of time and money.

  34. Good for you Sara! I live in the U.K. and I am sick of the way JEWS respond to all the hatred, BDS, Palestinian Solidarity etc., etc. If it was Muslims they would be bombing the judge! Not that I want to stoop to their barbarous actions, but Jews just keep their heads down and protest. Politely! We need to be more like Gays – who stand proud of who they are and let the world know it. As a group we contribute so much to the world, it is about time that we stood up for ourselves. Give me the name and address of the judge, I will write to him and let him know what racism means and how his actions encourage hatred.

  35. Alan Kardon says:

    Suggest we do this to the judge and see if we get the same results. "Burn the Judge."

  36. Alan Kardon says:

    So would Burn this Teenager get results along with the Judge.

  37. Let´s do the same to a muslim and let´s see, if the judges see this again “not racially motivated.” or even worst as an insult of a religion….I knew why I left canada after realising the officials "behavior"….worst than in europe!!

  38. the judge is racist and should be forced to step down

  39. Jerry Halpern says:

    Justice in Winnipeg? Astounding…

  40. Sara Vers says:

    Wie krank was geht hier ab ich glaubs nicht. Bin entsetzt.

  41. Sara Vers says:

    Wie krank was geht hier ab ich glaubs nicht. Bin entsetzt.

  42. Sara Vers ist leider so…..canada ist bereits islamisiert….scheiss linke..

  43. Marsha Roth says:

    The judgement was wrong. However, since Community Service was ordered, it should be done in a Jewish Institution! I would suggest the Simon Wiesenthal Center but it's too far away. There has to be a Jewish organization in that community that does charitable work. 75 hours is NOT enough! The Community Service should be a combination of education in a facility and "not so pleasant" physical work! This is clearly a Hate Crime.

  44. Spencer Lehmann says:

    Typical anti-Semitic behavior, of the creep who did the crime, and the judge who defended him. Disgusting.

  45. I agree. Not so sure if it was intended as a hate crime; not sure if the kid would even know enough of history to be aware of the seriousness of his "joke", but then isn't that how racism is perpetuated? By stupid people repeating stuff that then becomes their default way of thinking? But it should be recognized that ignorance is no excuse, that it was a hate crime be reason of the language used, just as a careless driver killing a pedestrian is still murder whether intended or not outside the court of law. This would be the perfect scenario for Restorative Justice.

  46. Spencer Lehmann says:

    The judge should be thrown off the bench.

  47. Glenn S Todd says:

    Once again we have an idiot Judge who cannot tell the difference of a racial attack. If the individual would have grabbed a black girl and did this the Judge would have called it a racist act and lock up the individual.

  48. James Wentz says:

    Jews and fire seem to go together well!

  49. Stuart Kaufman says:

    I have suggestion: a group of our Canadian brethren should learn the identity of this little bastard, and then grab him and beat the living crap out of him. Afterwards, let it be known that the same thing will happen to anyone who harasses a Jew. If the justice system breaks down, or is perverted, vigilante justice is the appropriate response. If Canadian (or American) authorities ignore the harassment of a Jew, then we must take it upon ourselves to punish the anti-Semite. I am serious. Grab the little toad and put him in the hospital!

  50. Tuvia Fogel says:

    OK, now just imagine the victim wearing a veil and the bully shouting 'Let's burn the Muslim!' Are you done imagining the international brou-ha-ha?

  51. How horrible for the girl.I think they need a new school administrator,Principal & Teacher's mostly Jews!!!

  52. Edward Lobel says:

    I agree! However, you need to make sure you present a defense that claims the idiot was crazy enough to walk into a fist! I mean that in a serious way.

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