About Us

The Truetalk Radio Network is a diverse media company that specializes in the production and distribution of radio programming. Founded in 1999, by Howie Silbiger, the network has produced various shows that have been syndicated nationally.
Truetalkradio.com merged with The Montreal Jewish News (mjnews.ca) in 2011 and offers blogs, opinion pieces, news stories and archives to some of the shows we produce.
We offer a live radio stream with original programming for your enjoyment.
Some of the shows produced by or for the Truetalk Radio Network:
  • The Howie Silbiger Show (2001 – still playing) A no holds barred call-in talk show that deals with many issues, specifically issues concerning the Montreal Jewish Community.
  • Musicludes (2004-Present) – A top 10 music show dealing highlighting music connected to different themes.
  • Marky Monday’s (2018-) A children’s show produced by Mark Pezzelato, a Toronto based music producer.
  • The Silbiger/Sedaka Hour (2002-2004) – A one hour call-in coast to coast discussion on news and politics. One host was in Montreal, Canada, the other somewhere in the states.
  • The House of Blue Lights (2001-2003) – A one hour music show featuring Jazz and Blues from the 1920s-1950s.
  • The Gumbo Show (2008-2010) – Hosted by Mark Pezzelato, a Toronto based music producer, the Gumbo Show highlighted upcoming Canadian musicians.

Microsoft is set to buy Israeli cloud cybersecurity start-up Adallom in “one of the largest” of the group’s recent acquisitions, a source close to the situation has told CNBC.

The deal is likely to close and be announced this week with the price tag set to be “quite a few hundred million dollars”, the person said, choosing to remain anonymous because the information isn’t public. The source did not reveal the exact price but said it would be bigger than any recent deals.

Adallom is poised to be the latest company to be snapped up by Microsoft which has been on a buying spree over the past year as the company pushes its fast-growing businesses such as the cloud unit.

The company’s commercial cloud revenue grew 88 percent year-on-year for Microsoft in the fourth quarter. This includes its Office 365, Microsoft’s suite of business productivity applications such as email, and Azure, its cloud platform.

Security is one of the top concerns for businesses following some high-profile hacking attacks on the likes of Sony Pictures last year and adultery website Ashley Madison last month.

And the likely Adallom acquisition comes as Microsoft continues to diversify its business away from just its Windows operating system and struggling smartphone unit. Having Adallom’s solutions would expand Microsoft’s range of cybersecurity solutions to businesses as it continues to focus on pushing its products and services to enterprises.

Adallom did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment at the time of publication.

Last year, Microsoft bought another Israeli cybersecurity start-up called Aorato which made a product spefically aimed at Microsoft users. The product was aimed at protecting the so-called Active Directory — a database that authorizes users to access a company’s systems.

But unlike Aorato, Adallom’s services are not only designed to work with Microsoft’s cloud products. Adallom can also secure cloud platforms such as GoogleApps and Salesforce which is highly used by businesses.

Adallom offers services such as the ability to understand how and by who a company’s cloud is being used, notify a firm about suspicious activity in its cloud and block cyber threats.

The firm was founded in 2012 by alumni of the Israeli Intelligence Corps. Adallom is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, but has an office in Israel. The employees will not be relocated to Redmond, Washington, a person familiar with the matter said.


French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that while Paris backs EU plans to label products from Israeli settlements, it opposes any boycott of Israel.

“The French and European diplomatic position is clear and has not changed and will not change,” he told reporters at the start of a two-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The labelling plan has been blasted by Israel which says it is the target of an international delegitimisation campaign.

But Macron was adamant that France opposes campaigns such as that of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which aims to put political and economic pressure on Israel over its occupation of the Palestinian territories.

“We are against any practice such as that of the BDS,” he said.

In April, France and 15 other European Union countries urged the bloc to clearly label products sold in member counties which originated in Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, all occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Sunday that Israeli diplomats in European capitals were working to halt or at least slow down the labelling plan, which it said was nearing completion.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in Florence last month and is to hold talks with Britain’s David Cameron later this week.

The EU has consistently condemned Israeli settlement building as a threat to the Middle East peace process through eroding the basis for a future Palestinian state.

By Yahoo News

Police in Repentigny, Que., are looking into a possible hoax after stickers promoting Islamic extremism were found stuck to a number of cars over the weekend.

Some car owners in Repentigny, which is just northeast of Montreal, were surprised to find stickers proclaiming, in French: “Quebec is Allah’s land, convert or else…”

The sticker features the logo of the Muslim Brotherhood, Arabic script and a photo of an armed man carrying what appears to be an Islamic State flag.

Local police were first made aware of the stickers on Saturday morning, and subsequently informed Quebec provincial police.

Haroun Bouazzi of The Association of Muslims and Arabs For a Secular Quebec said he doubts the threat is real.

Bouazzi said he’s never heard of any extremist groups in the area doing that kind of vandalism. He believes the vandals are simply trying to incite fear of Muslims.

“We have been seeing these fake Facebook accounts and things like that [that] show a lot of hatred,” he said.

​”It looks like a very, very bad joke. Having said that, obviously we hope police will find these people no matter who they are,” Bouazzi said.

No one has been arrested in the matter, and police are still trying to figure out whether it’s a hoax.

A spokesperson with Repentigny police said it’s the first time he’s seen such a thing.

Patrols have been stepped up in the area in an effort to prevent it from happening again.

By CBC News

When news of a Montreal businessman rescuing girls in Iraq first made headlines around the world, order Steve Maman basked in the limelight, doctor proud that he had managed to do something — something big — to fight the horror of the so-called Islamic State.

“The Jewish Schindler” the press dubbed him repeatedly, try in articles from Haaretz to Paris Match.

Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who is credited with saving 1,200 Jews during the Nazi Holocaust, is indeed one of Maman’s heroes, in whose footsteps he wanted to follow when he founded The Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq (CYCI) in June.

With the help of donations from the Jewish community and then the greater public, Maman says he and his team of volunteers on the ground in Iraq have rescued 130 girls and women, many of whom had been kidnapped and sold as sex slaves by the Islamic State.

Donations, on GoFundMe and then through PayPal on his website, steadily increased with the exposure, to more than $600,000 by Wednesday.

But then came more ink — this time from the Yazidi community itself — disputing the number of rescued girls and women and casting doubt on the whole operation.

In an open letter first published by Vice News last week, the top spiritual leader of the Yazidi community in Iraq, Babasheikh Kherto Ismael, as well as 19 other Yazidi leaders and activists, questioned how Maman, reportedly with only $80,000 at the time, had managed to liberate so many women and girls, when Iraqi families had to pay upward of $8,000 to rescue each of their loved ones.

They also wondered about the ethics of paying ransoms at all, when the money would surely line the pockets of ISIL fighters and motivate them to continue with their lucrative sideline.

As for Christians, the signatories to the letter, including Vian Dakhil, the only female Yazidi member of the Iraqi Parliament, said as far as they knew, no Christians had been enslaved in the area — so none could have been liberated.

“It is unclear what Christian women Steve Maman claims to be saving,” they wrote, in calling for an inquiry into CYCI’s operations and a suspension of donations.

To be sure, verifying what’s going on in ISIL-held territory is a huge challenge. Few reporters, even among the battle-hardened, dare to see for themselves.

Into that information void, Maman has offered up one journalist to confirm CYCI’s work — Sean Moore, whose credentials show him as a radio broadcaster affiliated with a station in Chatham-Kent, Ontario — and Canon Andrew White, an Anglican priest and the Vicar of Baghdad, who has started his own Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.

(At one point White paid a ransom for his own lay priest in Iraq — $40,000 — and has said he has employed up to 35 armed guards to protect himself.)

White could not be reached for comment, but in a Facebook post on Aug. 18 to his 25,000-plus followers, he praised Maman for his good work and defended the practice of paying ransoms for the girls, saying it was the only way to get them back.

“There are no more … established Christians or Yazidees that can be taken. They have already taken everybody available,” he wrote.

According to a United Nations report, in August, 2014, ISIL kidnapped an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 Yazidi women and children, 2,700 of whom are still in captivity.

The Yazidis are an ethnic and religious minority of Iraq, Syria and Kurdistan believed to number about 700,000, who have been targeted by the Islamic State in their quest to “purify” the region of non-Islamic influences.

Maman also has the backing of Pamela Geller of the American Freedom Defense Initiative — best known for organizing the Draw the Prophet contest in Texas — and has recruited Gill Rosenberg to help with at least one rescue operation. Rosenberg is a Canadian-Israeli woman who became the first female foreign fighter to join the Kurds in their fight against ISIS.

Rosenberg also spent four years in a U.S. prison, for scamming senior citizens out of millions of dollars.

“The question you have to ask yourselves is who should you believe?” Maman asked on Facebook. “Activists and humanitarians dedicating their lives to these peoples’ fates or certain government officials and affiliates that work from offices and airplanes? CYCI will not answer to a group of people that decided or not to put their names on a piece of paper.”

Maman has threatened legal action against his detractors, and questions the credibility of those who wrote the letter, referring broadly to power politics and corruption in Iraq.

He has also offered to address any “official question” from an authority, he added, in Iraq or Canada. He will be holding a press conference in Montreal next week, he said.

In the meantime, the Montreal Gazette met with him Wednesday in his office in Ville St. Pierre, where he sells used Harley Davidsons, to ask him a few questions of our own.

Maman shared pictures of children, videos and interviews with people on the ground in Iraq and Kurdistan who vouch for his work, including Dr. Noori Abdulrahman, listed online as the Minister for the Department of Coordination and Follow-up in the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Maman also shared his thoughts on the mission to rescue girls from sexual slavery and the latest allegations against him.

Q: We’ve all been watching with horror what’s been going on inside the so-called Islamic State. But you are among very few in the West who have taken action. Was there a specific incident or report that forced you to get involved?

A: There was a report that showed children who were put in a cage, all dressed in orange, and outside of the cage stood an ISIS combatant holding a lit-up torch, threatening to burn them. This picture mimicked what ISIS had done to the Jordanian pilot. By looking at the photo, one could imagine the pain and loss, the terror these children were under.

I had already a few months prior taken Assyrian Christians out of harm’s way and sent them to Ankara. I thought I had done my share of good with that, but the picture of the children dressed in orange jumpsuits really was the pivotal moment I decided I would act.

Q: What kind of experience did you have as a Montreal businessman that allowed you to put together a team in another country and rescue women and girls who had been kidnapped?

A: I travelled the world looking for vintage cars for sale abandoned in palaces and garages. I made lots of contacts in high places. This work brought my dealership to Morocco and then to Iraq.

I also befriended a Christian Assyrian on the ground, and realized through him I could make a difference. He had contacts with the Iraq and Kurdistan governments. I used his credentials and my business sense to get funding.

Q: Your critics don’t seem to believe that you’ve actually rescued as many people as you claim. Why not provide names or other proof?

A: We have provided names, pictures and videos. They are on our website, on our Facebook page. People wish to view faces and we cannot divulge this personal information.

Imagine, you get taken and raped 250 times a year, 15 times a day. Steve Maman comes and takes you out. You don’t even have the strength to say thank you. Would you let me take your picture and show the world? I don’t want to add to their suffering.

It’s like in the Roman Coliseum. It was always sold out because people wanted to see the blood and the humiliation … Today the world sees the Jewish Schindler and thousands will be proud, but one girl whose face I didn’t blur will not be happy. But am I looking for fame or to protect these girls?

Q: Several Yazidi leaders, including the spiritual leader of the Yazidi community, have written a letter questioning the facts and the ethics of your rescue work in Iraq. What do you think is behind the skepticism?

A: Politics. It’s corruption and politics. … It’s (a group) who is trying to gain notoriety for being the saviour of the Yazidis where a Jewish man from Canada comes up and does so much more work than (they) do on the ground, where this Jewish man actually gives to the people without asking them to pay back. On the other side we have (this group of signatories) that are actually charging $8,000 per person that they bring back to the families. They used to get a kickback from the government per person and at same time are charging the family. They are getting paid twice. So Steve Maman screamed out loud to the government that they have to stop this practice that they are putting in debt people who have no shoes. So all of a sudden I have an aspiring political party that I’m humiliating for fraud and corruption on the ground.

They’re a mafia trying to get into politics by taking advantage of the plight of the Yazidi people who have lost everything.

We were specifically told by the KRG office of the president not to answer to this letter. They called it a political stunt, and said the letter is invalid.

Q: So how do you explain how you managed to save so many girls and women with so little money (about $80,000)?

A: It’s very simple — at the time when we pulled the first 100 people out of the caliphate, we only had to pay $50 to $250 each. Obviously after these children had been sold by ISIS throughout the caliphate, everybody knew the price escalated to $2,000-3,000. Prices have gone up tremendously. CYCI was incorporated in June. But this work started eight months ago.

Q: How do you respond to those who say you are funding the Islamic State by paying to rescue these girls?

A: I don’t talk to ISIS, I don’t fund ISIS, I don’t deal with ISIS. We have our CYCI team on the ground in Kurdistan, which is comprised of elite personnel. When I say elite, I mean a U.S. government-trained hostage negotiator and U.S. trained terrorism prevention personnel.

As far as motivating them to kidnap more, the caliphate is closed. You tell me how they’re going to kidnap another girl from behind the American soldiers at the border of Kurdistan. You tell me how they’re going to get girls inside Iran if they want to expand to the east. What about to the south? There’s the Iraqi army and the U.S. army that are amassed around the border of the caliphate. You really think a 30,000-strong army with four or five different armies surrounding them are able to do anything more? They’re not able to conquer anymore. It’s the end of the expansion. So don’t tell me I’m creating a market that’s emerging.

Q: Your fundraising campaign on GoFundMe has been suspended out of concerns over its legitimacy. How will your work be affected if GoFundMe no longer provides a platform for it?

A: We closed the GoFundMe campaign. We started it to get noticed, but our funds went up so quickly and we were paying a seven-per-cent commission. So when they froze the campaign to investigate (after a complaint by RINJ — Rape Is No Joke) we moved it to our website and PayPal. Now we pay 1.5 per cent. Since the letter came out, we’re raising more money than ever.

By The Montreal Gazette

Luxembourg’s largest supermarket chain, Cactus, had decided to halt the sale of produce until its supplier finds proof that its origin is not the West Bank.

The chain’s management caved in to pressure by the pro-Palestinian organization Comité pour une Paix Juste au Proche-Orient, which held noisy demonstrations at the chain’s stores, claiming that they sold products from settlements.

The protests continued for months, until managers acquiesced and wrote to the group that it was suspending the sale of Israeli produce.

The chain’s management said income from Israeli produce is minimal and is not worth the annoyance to customers caused by protests.

However, the chain announced that it would continue to slel other Israeli products like SodaStream devices and equipment, which provide more significant profits.

Israel’s honorary consul in Luxembourg, Daniel Schneider, has begun an attempt to convince management to reserve its decision. Israeli’s embassy in Belgium, which also covers Luxembourg, is monitoring the situation.

Around two and a half months ago a ban was revoked on Israeli products at three supermarkets in northern Sweden, which are part of a national chain of 655 stores. Some in Israel feared a domino effect that would lead to the entire chain joining a boycott.

The local chain holds an annual consumer conference consisting of 24 members. Pro-Palestinian organizations submitted a draft resolution to the conference to boycott all Israeli products, and not only ones produced in settlements.

The resolution was passed, but after an aggressive campaign, the Swedish government announced it was strongly opposed to the boycott and that it had not authorized the chain’s decision.

By Ynet News

Montreal businessman Steve Maman has been dubbed the “Jewish Schindler” for his efforts to rescue women and girls from sexual slavery in Iraq.

But now Maman is defending himself against questions about his motives, click methods and results being raised by politicians, activists and religious leaders from the very minority group he says he has been pouring his time and energy into saving.

In an open letter last week, the signatories questioned a claim they called “dubious” that Maman’s group, The Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq, had rescued 102 women and girls (a number that has since risen to 128) with just $80,000. They also questioned whether the money paid for the hostage release was going back into Islamic State coffers. They are calling for Maman to offer proof of his tactics and the identities of those who have been saved before they will approve his work.

“We ask the friends of the Yazidi people all over the world who passionately support our vulnerable community to stop donating to Mr. Maman until his work is verified,” reads the letter, dated Aug. 26. “If his project is legitimate, safe, and ethical, we will also support him.”

Maman claims he has the backing of the Iraqi and Kurdish governments and credits his success to powerful and influential contacts in Iraq who have assisted his team of front-line workers.

He refutes critics’ allegations and says he is preparing to publicly defend his claims: “I know what I have in my hands. I can take the hit for another month, two months or three months in the media and let people say I’m a fraud and all that. But three months from now we’re going to go out in public and show everything we’ve done.”

Maman’s defence against the criticisms have become more strident in the last few days. He says he initially chalked it up to a misunderstanding that occurs as information is translated from French to English to Arabic to Kurmanji, a collection of Kurdish dialects.

A few days later, he sent a cease-and-desist letter to one of the signatories, University of Chicago Yazidi specialist Matthew Barber, who is a member of Yazda, a group that raises awareness about the Yazidi plight. The letter warned the signatories to end their criticisms or face a $5-million defamation suit.

Barber said there was immediate interest — and suspicion — of Maman’s claims, when they emerged in the media, of having saved more than 100 people from slavery.

“Of the people connected to me, nobody could find any person to verify Steve Maman’s claims and none of the Yazidi leaders that our team contacted could verify any of his claims,” he said in an interview.

Now Maman says his group will gladly open its books to legitimate government authorities or reputations like the Red Cross that may want to verify claims about the numbers or the fate of the thousands of women and girls who were taken into captivity by Islamic State fighters last year.

One thing he refuses to do is start publishing photographs or personal details of victims in order to justify or legitimize his efforts.

But Maman is hoping to put the critics to rest with the airing sometime this week of a report by an Israeli news crew who spent part of last week with his people working in northern Iraq.

“She’s got footage of my team, she’s got footage of the people that came out, she’s got footage of two little girls we just liberated,” he said. “She told me the people in the villages have (my) photo. People know who I am.”

By The Toronto Star

Quebec’s proposed legislation to combat hate speech is so flawed that it should be completely reworked and resubmitted for public consultation, medical according to the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA).

The Jewish community advocacy group told the public hearings that began last week that it is “perilous to use civil law to accomplish what is treated adequately by criminal law.”

CIJA’s chief criticism is that Bill 59 does not strike a fair balance between guaranteeing freedom of expression and protection against hate. It deplores the lack of a clear definition of what constitutes hate speech and of judicial safeguards for those accused of it.

“In its present form, no rx the bill risks creating an undesirable climate of self-censorship that is incompatible with fundamental rights and freedoms, and ” the CIJA written brief states.

Representatives of CIJA also appeared on Aug. 20 before the hearings being held at the National Assembly.

CIJA emphasized that the Jewish community, as one of the groups most frequently targeted by hate crimes in Canada, is deeply concerned with their prevention and the prosecution of those charged with them.

However, CIJA believes the answer is a more rigorous application of the existing hate speech provisions in the Criminal Code of Canada, under sections 318 to 320. It regrets that police seem reluctant to investigate and prosecutors to invoke those provisions. Criminal law also affords greater protection of free speech because of the burden of proof required, CIJA points out.

Bill 59, which was introduced in June by Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée, is aimed at preventing and combating public hate speech and speech inciting violence against identifiable groups described in Section 10 of the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

Individuals will also be covered by an amendment to the charter.

The bill gives the province’s Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission new powers, including the jurisdiction to investigate complaints about hate speech. It introduces the procedure by which citizens can make such complaints.

The commission can also seek a court order forcing hate speech to cease.

The Human Rights Tribunal also will have new responsibilities, including determining if a person has engaged in hate speech and imposing a monetary penalty.

Particularly troubling to CIJA is the tribunal’s power to enter the names of those found to have contravened the anti-hate prohibitions on a list to be kept at the commission and made available to the public on its website.

The justice minister is also given new powers. He or she may withhold all or part of public funding to educational institutions, public or private, from the preschool to college level, or even revoke their permit, in cases where the behaviour of any person who is on the hate-speech offenders list is presumed to pose a threat to students.

CIJA believes this is too vague and that the presumption of guilt violates basic rights.

Among other weaknesses, CIJA also notes that the bill does not stipulate whether public dissemination of hate speech includes that made via social media or the Internet. It also objects to the inclusion of “political convictions” as a category among identifiable groups that may be targeted.

It asks, for example, if denunciation of the Ku Klux Klan, could constitute hate speech. More generally, CIJA fears the stifling of genuine political debate.

It is concerned as well that those making complaints to the commission may remain anonymous, unless they consent to their identity being disclosed, which could encourage frivolous or malicious actions.

Overall, CIJA thinks the bill makes things too easy for plaintiffs. They do not have to appear before the tribunal or pay any legal fees and the standards for evidence are not spelled out. The defendant, on the other hand, must spend the time and money.

CIJA questions the severity of the sanctions: fines from $1,000 to $10,000 for a first offence, and the stigma and risk of reprisals posed by being publicly listed for a length of time at the tribunal’s discretion.

The normal rules of civil procedure should apply in the application of Bill 59 in order to assure a fair trial, CIJA says.

CIJA Quebec vice-president Luciano Del Negro said, during its presentation to the public hearings, government representatives on the committee “attempted to say that their legislation factors in our concerns. Their questions were not so much tough, as an attempt to reassure us.”

But CIJA is not convinced. “The intent of [Bill 59] is OK, but if the definition of hate speech is left so broad, action against it becomes arbitrary and discriminatory…

“The best antidote to hate speech is freedom of speech and education and a global strategy to deal with it.”

By Janice Arnold – The Canadian Jewish News

Yishai Shlissel was indicted today in a Jerusalem court for his terror attack on the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade, shop Israeli media reported.

Shlissel (sometimes spelled “Schlissel”) murdered 16-year-old Shira Banki at the parade and tried to murder six other marchers during the July 30 parade. He was restrained and arrested July 30 while he was still trying to stab more marchers.

The 39-year-old Schlissel was charged with one count of premeditated murder, check six counts of attempted murder, and with causing injuries under aggravated circumstances.

Shlissel’s remand was also extended until tomorrow, when another hearing will be held on his detention.

At the reading of the indictment, Shlissel reportedly told the court that “the [Gay] Pride Parade must be canceled to elevate Shira Banki’s soul. If you care for her wellbeing, you must cease this blasphemy against God. The [Gay Pride Parades] bring harsh decrees on Israel.…Whenever there is a Gay Pride Parade, stop the blasphemy against God. Stop the madness and all the people of Israel should repent.”

In 2005, Shlissel also staged a terror attack on the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade, stabbing four people. He served ten years in prison and was released only three weeks before this year’s parade.

Police, however, failed to watch Shlissel or prepare for the possibility he would attack this year’s parade – even though Shlissel made public statements after his release in the haredi media and in pamphlets he distributed warning that the parade must be stopped and calling on all Jews to rise up and sacrifice themselves to protect the name of God from the abomination of the parade by preventing it from being held.

Despite all this, police claim intelligence information they received did not indicate Shlissel might attack this year’s parade, so they failed to closely monitor him.

But police also appear to have failed to follow their own security plan for the parade, and their apparent negligence in this regard also contributed to Banki’s murder and to the stabbings of the other victims.

Several mid-level police officials are expected to be reassigned over the failures – a response to the widespread failures many in the LGBT community feel is inadequate, especially in light of Banki’s murder.

By Shmarya Rosenberg – FailedMessiah.com