Any reader of Pierre Lacerte’s blog would quickly deduce that he is not a big fan of his ultra-orthodox Jewish neighbours. In its five years of existence, the site has exhaustively documented alleged infractions committed by Hasidim in Montreal’s Outremont neighbourhood, from double-parking on residential streets to synagogues that do not respect municipal zoning.
“We have asked questions, turned over stones, uncovered questionable and revolting practices,” he wrote in 2008 on the blog’s one-year anniversary. “It’s crazy how many bugs came running out when we shone our flashlights in shadowy corners.”
Mr. Lacerte, a former magazine writer, insists his blog produces civic-minded journalism, but the targets of his work vehemently disagree. This week three prominent Hasidic leaders are in court seeking $375,000 in damages for libel, saying his writing is anti-Semitic and harmful to their reputations.
Testifying Wednesday, Mr. Lacerte took exception to the accusation of anti-Semitism. “Since the Second…
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