FSWC CONDEMNS ANTI-SEMITIC GRAFFITI AT HEBREW DAY SCHOOL IN TORONTO
of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) condemns in the
strongest possible terms the anti-Semitic graffiti spray painted on the Robbins
Hebrew Academy adjacent to the Beth Tikvah synagogue in Toronto on Thursday,
"We are both saddened and angry to note that 66 years after the Holocaust, this
hatred still exists," said Avi Benlolo, President and CEO of FSWC. "We hope and
expect members of all faith communities to join with us in denouncing this
cowardly and racist act."
HOLD THE DATE!
SENATOR LINDA FRUM AND HOWARD SOKOLOWSKI PRESENT AN HONOURARY LUNCHEON
FOR LAUREEN HARPER
SEPTEMBER 16, 2011
12:00- 2:00 P.M.
Mrs. Laureen Harper
Join FSWC as we present the Award of Valour to Mrs. Laureen Harper, a stauch
supporter of tolerance, social justice and human rights.
Keynote speaker at the
Aayan Hirsi Ali
Luncheon will be bestselling author, former Dutch parliamentarian, human rights
activist and world renowned speaker Aayan Hirsi Ali.
For registration and information contact FSWC Office Manager Tracey Steyn at
416.864.9735 x 21 email@example.com
Thumbs down this week to Facebook for rejecting a request from 21
Holocaust survivors to remove Holocaust denial pages from the social networking
Claiming freedom of speech concerns and the need to maintain consistency
in its policies, Facebook refused the request of the survivors, who volunteer at
the Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, to rid the site of
Do you believe Facebook should remove Holocaust denial pages from its website?
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NEWS FEATURES OF THE WEEK
DR. OFER MERIN
Deputy Director General
Shaare Zedek Hospital Israel
Honoured by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles with the Medal of
Valor on behalf of the Israeli Defense Forces for their stellar work operating a
field hospital in Haiti after the catastrophic earthquake in 2010, and most
recently leader of the IDF medical delegation to Japan following the late winter
earthquake and tsunami, renowned Dr. Ofer Merin visited FSWC to provide a
briefing to Doctors4Wiesenthal earlier this week.
Dr. Merin also heads up the Shaare Zedek mobile Field Hospital whose mission is,
in part, to aid any humanitarian crisis around the world. The Israeli team
received worldwide recognition for providing what CBS called the "rolls royce of
emergency medical care" in Haiti.
Dr. Merin noted the two missions were extremely different: while Haiti was
completely devastated and every person who came to help was needed, Japan was
extremely selective about who was let in the country. In fact, despite offers
from 36 countries, Israel was the only one permitted to set up shop; Dr. Merin
believes there are two main reasons why.
Firstly, the Israeli field hospital is completely self-sufficient, with
its own tents, water, food, gas and all other necessities. Secondly, the mayor
of one of the cities devastated by the tsunami had volunteered at a kibbutz in
When asked if the humanitarian work of the IDF Field Hospital translates into
positive relations with Israel, Dr. Merin said "absolutely," pointing out that
Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva was recently permitted to acquire the
third largest generic drug company in Japan, which he attributes in part to the
goodwill generated by the IDF mission.
DEMOCRATIC PROTEST DEFINES 'TENT CITY REVOLUTION IN ISRAEL
By Avi Benlolo
President and CEO, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust
One hot Saturday night in July, I stood in Tel Aviv in the centre of a new
revolution that was completely remarkable and yet, at the same time, utterly
typical of Israeli society. Taking hold of the tiny country this summer is the
ongoing "tent revolution," comprised of middle class Israelis who are troubled
by the cost of living and have been camping out in tents all over the country to
protest their inability to afford the sky rocketing prices of homes.
What I witnessed was a new 30+ generation of women and men who want to
pave a strong future for themselves in Israel. They want to be able to afford
homes to raise their families and set down stronger roots in their home land.
The site of one hundred thousand young Israelis marching for a cause to
strengthen their ties and improve their lives in Israel was exhilarating.
CLICK HERE to read the full article
A MEMORY OF ABSENCE
REFLECTIONS ON FSWC'S MISSION TO POLAND
"Having been to Yad Vashem in Israel several times, having met
survivors and attended memorials, I thought I had a fairly deep understanding
of the Holocaust. However, being on the sites where so many were systematically
slaughtered is a profoundly personal and high impact experience. I consider
myself fortunate to have been in the company of FSWC and especially survivor,
Max Eisen, whose personal testimony on site was unforgettable; I am still
processing the experience."
~Dr. James Lunney, MP Nanaimo-Alberni
From the Gesia Cemetery in Warsaw to the Remuh Cemetery in Krakow, the
presence of Jewish life in Poland dating back centuries is evident.
Walking the streets of Kazimierz, the former Jewish quarter of Krakow, the
remnants of Jewish
Flowers on the steps of
crematorium III at Birkenau
life can be seen in the architecture; while the buildings have been left
standing, the faces and names are, tragically, lost.
FSWC's third and most recent journey to Poland in July included Canadian
delegates from coast to coast. The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, MP (PEI);
Dr. James Lunney, MP (BC); and Doug Moen, Deputy Minister to the Premier
(Saskatchewan) were joined by Ontarians Susan LaRosa, Director of Education,
York Catholic District School Board; Patricia Preston, Associate Director of
Education, York Catholic District School Board; Shannon Hogan, Ontario English
Catholic Teachers Association; Ucal Powell, Executive Secretary-Treasurer (EST);
Tony Iannuzzi, President and Mike Yorke, Conductor of the Carpenters' Union and
a group of FSWC donors along with Holocaust survivor Max Eisen and his son on a
tour of sites of the Holocaust.
Gates leading to crematoria at Birkenau
Every FSWC mission to Poland includes a visit to Auschwitz, thelargest
concentration camp that has become the symbol of the Holocaust and is the
pinnacle of the Friends of Wiesenthal 'From Compassion to Action' journey. Other
sites visited include Majdanek and Plaszow Concentration Camps, several sites of
deportation in Warsaw and Krakow as well as the site of the Warsaw Ghetto
"The opportunity to see the sites of
the Holocaust for myself and to interpret what I saw through the Wiesenthal lens was a profound education and, to be
perfectly honest, somewhat overwhelming," said the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay,
MP Cardigan, PEI. "I am grateful for the chance to learn more about this
horrific chapter in human history and strongly urge others to accompany FSWC on
future missions if they have the chance," he added.
Israeli student group at gas chambers at Majdanek
Among the dignitaries included in the mission itinerary were the Chief
Rabbi of Poland, the Director of Majdanek State Museum and the Deputy Director
and the Head of Education from the Auschwitz State Museum, the Dean of History
from the University of Warsaw and
several Polish politicians.
The leadership of the Carpenters Union, which has maintained a
longstanding relationship with Friends of Simon Wiesenthal, felt it was
important to join this trip to Poland. "Our friendship
Gesia cemetery in Warsaw
with FSWC and admiration for the resiliency of the Jewish people and the
State of Israel was certainly strengthened on this mission. The sheer size and
magnitude of the Holocaust cannot be grasped until you are standing at these
sites where such unimaginable horrors occurred. For my colleagues and I this was
not an easy journey, but it certainly was a necessary one," said Ucal Powell,
EST, Carpenters District Council of Ontario.
AGAINST BACKDROP OF NEW WHITE HOUSE REPORT ON COUNTERING DOMESTIC
EXTREMIST VIOLENCE, SWC URGES YOUTUBE TO REMOVE ALL BOMB-MAKING RELATED VIDEOS
"Stop inadvertent online logistical support for 'lone wolf' terrorist"
August 4, 2011 -
A just-released report
by the White House recognizes the key role that the Internet plays in the targeting of
America's youth by violent extremists, domestic and foreign. Against this
backdrop the Simon Wiesenthal Center is urging YouTube to immediately remove all
videos that provide instructions on bomb-making.
"President Obama is right to point out the special power that social networking
has in influencing our youth. But, in addition to the introduction of hate
propaganda, the Internet provides a virtual library for potential terrorists. In
particular, the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Digital Terrorism and Hate Project has
tracked scores of YouTube videos that provide detailed instructions on the
making and detonating of explosives. This includes flamethrowers, C-4 plastics,
napalm, car bomb detonators, cell phone detonators, time bombs, and others,"
said Internet Hate expert, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon
Wiesenthal Center. "In 2010, we shared these concerns during a meeting with
YouTube officials at their headquarters in California. Unfortunately, little, if
anything has been done to curb this dangerous online niche."
CLICK HERE to read the full press release
WELCOME TO THE ERA OF THE 'LONE WOLF'
READ RABBI COOPER'S FOX NEWS OP-ED
Welcome to the Era of the 'Lone Wolf'
By Rabbi Abraham Cooper
Published July 28, 2011 | FoxNews.com
Last December, I met with senior Swedish officials, including a cabinet
minister, over security concerns related to the safety of the Jewish community.
Truth be told, I didn't make much progress. It was explained to me that
authorities have a list of about 800 extremists, roughly divided between
Islamist militants and far-right neo-Nazis. Subtext: We have the situation in
our country under control. "Was Taimur Abdulwahab al-Abdaly on your list," I
The answer was no.
Authorities were apparently clueless about the radicalized Iraqi-born Swedish
citizen who blew himself up prematurely in the heart of Stockholm, just yards
away from hundreds of Christmas shoppers.
Sweden dodged a bullet that day, but Norway had no such luck.
CLICK HERE to read the full article
with L. Gen. Romeo Dallaire
September 20, 2011
12 noon - 1.30 p.m.
Join FSWC leadership and more than 1000 students from across the GTA as we
celebrate the life and legacy of Simon Wiesenthal at the first annual FREEDOM
DAY celebration at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto.
Spend an incredible afternoon with our keynote speaker, Canadian author and
Senator, Lieutenant General Romeo
Dallaire and emcee Rick Campanelli of ET Canada as they highlight the Canadian
values of Freedom, Democracy and Human Rights.
For information and registration contact Education Director Melissa Mikel at
416.864.9735 x 24
CLICK HERE to visit the FREEDOM DAY website
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies
416.864.9735 x 32