Community Intelligence: April 16, 2018

April 16, 2018

Intelligence Brief

FSWC Delegation in Israel for Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut

A delegation of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center members is in Israel this week to commemorate Yom Hazikaron, celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut and participate in national observances. Members have met with Ambassador of Canada to Israel Deborah Lyons and the Israel Defence Forces and will partake in activities that provide a look into the lives of Israeli soldiers. Tomorrow on the eve of Yom Hazikaron, the delegation will be honouring Israel's fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism.

Shocking US Survey Reveals Need for Holocaust Education

A US survey released on Thursday disclosed shocking findings on Holocaust awareness and knowledge among adults, particularly millennials, revealing a continued need for more Holocaust education inside schools. According to the study, nearly one-third of Americans believe less than two million Jews were killed during the Holocaust, two-thirds of millennials could not identify Auschwitz, and 22 per cent of millennials stated they have never or are not sure if they've heard of the Holocaust.

"As we witness growing antisemitism worldwide, there is an ongoing need for Holocaust education not only for students, but adults as well," said FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo. "Governments must invest in increasing and improving Holocaust education, while schools and educators need to see the importance of this type of education, making sure it's part of the curriculum and providing appropriate resources to students to expand their awareness and knowledge."

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Holocaust education has never been more important than now. Support Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center's numerous educational programs that bring Holocaust education to schools across Ontario and ensure today's youth and future generations never forget. 

Click here to donate.

Rare Israeli-Palestinian Compromise at UNESCO Brings Hope

Member nations at UNESCO signed off on a rare compromise resolution on Thursday following indirect negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The resolution, "Occupied Palestine" - the only resolution approved at the UNESCO meeting - is still critical of Israel, but the most controversial language was moved to a non-binding annex and avoided a contentious vote. UNESCO's Director-General Audrey Azoulay welcomed the consensual decision, calling the dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian missions "a very positive sign."

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Former Auschwitz Guard Charged in Germany

A 94-year-old former Auschwitz SS guard, whose name has not yet been released, has been charged in Germany for aiding and abetting mass murder at the death camp. He was reportedly 19 years old when he assisted in the murder of some 13,335 people between December 1942 and January 1943 and will therefore be treated as a juvenile if the case goes to court. The suspect, who has denied knowing mass murder was going on, is accused of "supporting camp operations and thus acts of extermination."

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South Carolina Becomes First State to Pass Legislation to Confront Antisemitism on Campus

In a 37-4 vote that took place on Thursday, South Carolina's State Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation aimed at confronting antisemitism on campus, providing educators and administrators with a clear and uniform definition to recognize anti-Jewish bigotry and protect students against antisemitism. The definition is reportedly similar to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's Working Definition of Antisemitism that was adopted by 31 countries.

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Israeli Army Destroys 'Longest' Hamas Attack Tunnel

The Israeli army revealed that it has destroyed another Hamas attack tunnel, which originated in the Gaza Strip and crossed into Israeli territory, becoming the fifth tunnel crossing into Israel the army has destroyed in recent months. Military intelligence services believe that the tunnel, which was several kilometres long, was part of a wider tunnel network. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the tunnel was the "longest and deepest exposed so far."

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From the Arab World

Coordinated by the US, UK and France, missile strikes against targets in Syria were launched on Friday night in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack that took place in Syria a week earlier. Sites targeted included a scientific research center, chemical weapons storage facility and a chemical weapons equipment storage facility and command post. A pentagon spokeswoman said strikes successfully "hit the sites, the heart of the chemical weapons program." There was no report of civilian casualties.

FSWC Recognizes BloombergSen Investment Partners as Silver Sponsor of Spirit of Hope

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center is pleased to recognize BloombergSen Investment Partners as a silver sponsor of the Spirit of Hope Benefit. This year's event brings an incredible panel of speakers, including former prime minister of Canada Stephen Harper, former prime minister of Spain Jose Maria Aznar, former prime minister of Israel Ehud Barak, and 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan. 

With the dinner just over a month away, don't forget to register for your seat today. To register or for more information, contact Tracey at tsteyn@fswc.ca or 416-864-9735 ext. 21.

Register for Spirit of Hope 2018

FSWC Wants to Hear from You

Passionate about an issue in the news or your community? Does it align with FSWC's mandate? Then we want to hear from you! FSWC is inviting you to submit reflections on issues that matter to you and the community. While we won't be publishing anything just yet, we will be taking all submissions into consideration for future projects. Submit reflections to aborisovsky@fswc.ca.

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