. . . To Canada for honouring Shimon Peres.
FSWC was honoured to participate in the State
Dinner in honour of Israeli President Shimon Peres given by Governor General
David Johnston at Rideau Hall in Ottawa earlier this week.
"It was an elegant event and a wonderful
opportunity to meet with the Governor General," said Friends of Simon Wiesenthal
Center (FSWC) President and CEO Avi Benlolo. "The warm reception Peres received
from the leaders of all three political parties while visiting Canada is a
testament to the values of freedom and democracy shared by both countries."
. . . To Israeli athlete Moran Samuel, who recently
won an Italian rowing competition for the disabled. When it became clear that
event organizers had neglected to have a CD of the Israeli national anthem
Hatikvah on hand during the medal ceremony, Samuel took the microphone from the
Master of Ceremonies and, in a show of Israeli initiative and confidence, sung
LEARN MORE. .
. . To Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, a comedian from
France whose antisemitic hate-laced humour has him banned from performing in
much of Europe, and to Montreal concert promoter Evenko, which is providing him
with a stage for four performances in downtown Montreal next week.
M'bala M'bala, who has labeled Jews 'slave-dealers'
and whose performances include Holocaust denial, slurs against the Talmud
and a positive view of Hitler, has been charged and convicted of antisemitic
defamation numerous times in France.
READ MORE . . .
DID YOU KNOW. . .
. . . That Democratic pundit and Spirit of Hope panelist James Carville,
speaking this week on CNN's 'The Situation Room' said that, despite the belief
of many Democrats, the 2012 Presidential election
not "in the bag."
"It's going to be a brutally tough election. . . You can shoot five Bin
Ladens, you can save 10,000 banks and 20 car companies, even pass the most
sweeping legislation in modern American history; if people don't think that you
are connected to their lives and are fighting for their interests they will vote
your tush out of office in a nano-second."
NEWS FEATURES OF THE WEEK
By Shmuel Rosner in the
International Herald Tribune
By Marsha Lederman in the Globe and
CLICK HERE to read the antisemitic vitriol in the Comments
section in response to the above article
THE MEDIA ATTENTION IS OVERWHELMING
Intense media focus on antisemitic hate in Toronto Madrassah
As the police investigation launched in response
to a Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) complaint about antisemitism
being taught at a Toronto Madrassah continues, media interest in the issue
remains unabated. Although FSWC has in the past uncovered numerous instances of
anti-Jewish hate, this particular issue seems to resonate with both the media
and the general public.
"I think this matter has really brought into sharp
focus the problem of Muslims exporting hate, particularly of Jews, into Canada"
explained FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo. "The fact that this hatred is
being taught to students using Toronto school board facilities and posting it on
the internet provides concrete evidence of the importance attached and the
effort made to promote antisemitism in the Muslim community and we sincerely
hope this example is not simply the tip of an iceberg," he added.
While FSWC awaits the report of the York Region
Police Force investigating the complaint, further steps will be taken to address
this issue with the Toronto District School Board as the host of the Madrassah
responsible for the antisemitic teachings.
CLICK HERE to view further interviews with Avi Benlolo on
CLICK HERE to read more about this story
FSWC OUTREACH TO
UNITED CHURCH MARKED BY DISAGREEMENT
In a meeting with United Church Moderator Mardi
and Reverend Bruce Gregersen, disagreement over the content of the church's
recently released "Working Group on Israel/Palestine Policy" proposing a boycott
of products made in Israeli settlements was clear.
"Although the language
of this report is less inflammatory than previous UC proposals, and recognition
of Israel's right to exist is clearly stated, there is still a one-sided and
explicit condemnation of Israel alone that taints the entire undertaking," said
FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo. "Additionally, the report conflates the
Holocaust with the experiences of the Palestinians living in the West Bank and
this is, in our view, reprehensible," he added.
The Working Group
Report's proposals will be debated at the Church's 41st General Council in
Ottawa in August. FSWC will continue to reach out to members of the United
Church, including those opposed to the anti-Israel tone of the report, in an
effort to ensure that the biases of the report's authors are not ultimately
reflected in official church policy. A Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center
Response to the Working Report will be released to the media and general public
"IF WE STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT WE CAN ACCOMPLISH GREATNESS"
Iranian Canadian Student Wins 2012 Wiesenthal Scholarship
Four outstanding high school students are the proud recipients of the 2012
Wiesenthal Scholarship designed to promote the legacy of Simon Wiesenthal and
recognize students who have pursued and promoted tolerance, justice and human
rights in high school, and plan to carry those values forward in their academic
First place recipient Arash Khazaei, an Iranian Canadian from Toronto who
experienced firsthand the effects of discrimination as a Muslim living in the
United States after 9-11, was honoured to be considered for the award. "The
words of Simon Wiesenthal are ever so applicable to my life journey. . .
Although it may be difficult, if we stand up for what is right, we can
Second place recipient Ursula Kressibucher of Beaverton, Ontario is
currently living in the mountains of Rwanda working with orphans affected by the
Rwandan genocide, while a tie for third place went to Mississauga residents
Marta Jesionowska and Kaitlyn Mathews.
"It was so inspiring to speak with these students, to listen to their dreams and
plans for the future," said FSWC Managing Director of Education Melissa Mikel.
"It's good to know that there are students who truly care about issues of
tolerance and human rights and are working to incorporate them in their daily
lives. These kids are really walking the talk."
EXTREMISTS' STRONG SHOWING IN EUROPEAN
ELECTION MUST SERVE AS WAKE UP CALL
By Rabbi Abraham Cooper in
After elections Sunday in Europe Americans
are concerned that if the Europezone turns sour economically and politically the
contagion may spill over and affect us, too.
Such concerns are justified, but the problem could
be bigger than that. What happens in Western civilization's European
heartland-which the U.S. fought two world wars and the Cold War to save-has a
significance far beyond short-term financial or political trends.
While global economists are demanding that European
banks pass rigorous stress tests to justify future investments, the growing
menace from mainstream extremism and demagoguery leaves us wondering whether the
very democratic values, born in the crucible of this continent's blood-soaked
history, remain strong enough to withstand the resurgence of xenophobia and
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies
416.864.9735 x 32