Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

VIVA Victoria candidate says post about 'powerful Jews' was in jest

Muller Kalala denies having anti-Semitic beliefs despite 2015 post that rabbi calls “classic anti-Semitism”
A 2015 Facebook post by Victoria city council candidate Muller Kalala displays an anti-Semitic trope, says Rabbi Meir Kaplan. VIA FACEBOOK

A man running for a seat on Victoria council admits to writing a 2015 post on Facebook about “powerful Jews” but says he is not an anti-Semite.

Muller Kalala is running under the VIVA Victoria slate, which was recently criticized for a fabricated email endorsement from Island Health.

The VIVA Victoria website says Kalala is the owner of a security and self-defence company and is studying for the LSAT in hopes of taking the University of Victoria law program next fall.

In February of 2015, Kalala posted an article on Facebook about hover bikes becoming “the next revolution in aviation,” writing: “how long will it take? Depends on how long the world is willing to fight over oil and how long it takes the powerful Jews to allow it …”

Rabbi Meir Kaplan, director of the Chabad of Vancouver Island, called the post “classic anti-Semitism.”

“This is basically trying to put the blame for anything — any problem in the world — on the Jews, on Zionism. This is the classical anti-Semitism we have suffered for millennia,” he said.

“For us, to think there is a candidate with some legitimacy running for office and making such comments — it’s extremely disturbing.”

Coral Grant, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Victoria and Vancouver Island, called the post insidious and said it “perpetuates old stereotypes.”

“This kind of talk in the political arena is divisive. It’s also a huge misrepresentation of the Jewish population.”

But Kalala said the post was made in jest after conversations he’d had about critical race theory, which examines how perceptions of race and ethnicity have shaped policies, institutions and social and political systems.

He said he is not an anti- Semite and has Jewish ancestry.

“I think it’s unfair to call me anti-Semitic because as a Black person I do have Jewish background,” he said. “I think Jewish identity has been divided and distorted. There’s a lot of people of colour who don’t know they come from Jewish backgrounds.”

Kalala said the perception that his post was discriminatory is an “unfortunate misunderstanding.”

“It was purely academic. Most of my friends on Facebook were all at college or university at the time.”

Randal Phipps, founder of VIVA Victoria, did not respond to requests for comment.