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Surge Desk

Adbusters Yanked From Store Shelves; Anti-Semitic Photo to Blame?

Nov 4, 2010 – 9:33 PM
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Steven Hoffer

Steven Hoffer Contributor

(Nov. 4) -- The anti-consumerist, culture-jamming Adbusters magazine -- recently known as the hipster publication that ragged on hipsters -- is being taken off the shelves at Canadian drugstore chain Shoppers Drug Mart following a dispute over a "Truthbombs" photo spread juxtaposing images of Gaza and the Warsaw Ghetto, according to The Globe and Mail.

While the decision by Shoppers to discontinue Adbusters' sales is fueling controversy between the Vancouver-based magazine's supporters and the Canadian Jewish Congress -- which is campaigning against Adbusters for what it considers anti-Semitic content -- Shoppers officials are trying to remain neutral.

Lisa Gibson, Shoppers' director of communications and corporate affairs, says that the magazine's removal from store shelves is actually based on poor sales and only coincidentally coincides with the dispute between Adbusters and the Canadian Jewish Congress.

"We only have a certain amount of magazine shelf space allotted to us in each store," Gibson told the Globe and Mail, "so we do a fairly regular review of the magazine assortment and look at sales and other things. So it was actually pulled as part of that review."

Nevertheless, Adbusters editor Kalle Lasn, who founded the publication in 1989, expressed the magazine's position on the dispute in Tuesday's National Post.

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"If you think that publishing side-by-side images of the Gaza and Warsaw ghettos is a valid expression of free speech, email the Canadian Jewish Congress and tell them to back off," Lasn wrote. "In Canada, we should be free to choose from a diversity of viewpoints and decide for ourselves what is anti-Semitic and what is a legitimate critique of Israel's occupation of Palestine."

Bernie Farber, CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress, and Len Rudner, its Ontario regional director, offered their position in an opinion piece also published in The National Post.

"The argument is obscene, and continues the disgusting tradition of some supporters of the Palestinian cause to turn Jews into Nazis and Palestinians into Jews," Farber and Rudner wrote.

Read more in The Globe and Mail.

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