Canada says Messianic organization can't claim menorah symbol
The Federal Court of Canada has told Chosen People Ministries, an international evangelistic ministry for Messianic Jews, that it may no longer use its stylized menorah as its official symbol.
Specifically, the court overturned the Registrar of Trademarks decision to award the group's logo design "official mark" status. Because official marks offer more exclusive rights than trademarks, the Canadian Jewish Congress argued that the messianic organization could deny any menorah symbols to synagogues or other Jewish organizations.
The court agreed. "The menorah [has been] the official emblem of the Jewish faith and its people since antiquity," wrote Justice Pierre Blais. "It would be counterproductive to prohibit Jewish organizations and associations from using and adopting a mark such as the menorah, since it [has] always been historically associated with the Jewish culture."
But this battle goes far beyond the spurious accusation that Chosen People Ministries would have forced synagogues and other Jews to stop using menorahs. What the Canadian Jewish Congress really wants is to force Chosen People Ministries to stop using the symbol. "These groups create the misleading perception of Jewish affiliation through their appropriation of Jewish religious symbols (such as the menorah), holidays, traditions, and terminology, all to facilitate their proselytizing campaign," CJC president Keith Landy said after the court's decision.
So far, Weblog hasn't seen any comments from Chosen People Ministries, but organization president Mitch Glaser earlier said, "Interestingly, it's our responsibility to defend the Canadian government's decision, but what I really believe is that our ...1
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