Community Intelligence Brief: April 11, 2018

April 11, 2018

Intelligence Brief

Message of 'Never Again' Shared with Students on Yom Hashoah

FSWC is spreading the message of Never Again to Toronto students by hosting two days of workshops with Holocaust survivors. "The best way we can ensure a tragedy like the Holocaust never takes place again is by educating young people about what led to the Holocaust and how we can learn from actions of the past to create a better future," said FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo. "Many students are not aware of the day Yom Hashoah and what it stands for, so we and the Holocaust survivors who are joining us are incorporating the important day into the Holocaust education being provided." 

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Through its Tour for Humanity and daily workshops, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center is a leader in delivering programs that inspire Canadians to raise their voices for freedom, democracy and human rights. Provide your support today. 

Click here to donate.

Traditional Antisemitism Is Back, Global Study Warns

While the number of violent antisemitic incidents fell by about 9% last year, there was an overall increase in antisemitism, according to a report published by the Kantor Center at Tel Aviv University that examined the prevalence of antisemitism worldwide. According to the report, "expressions of classic traditional antisemitism are back" and antisemitic abuse and harassment are on the rise. The report blames a triangle comprising of the resurgence of the extreme right, anti-Zionist discourse and radical Islamism for causing feelings of insecurity among Jews, particularly in Europe.

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FSWC Deeply Concerned by Comments from Green Party Leader on Gaza-Israel Conflict

FSWC is deeply concerned by the one-sided comments from Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May regarding the ongoing Gaza-Israel conflict. In a statement posted to the party's website, May singles out Israel for condemnation yet makes no mention of the fact that - by its own admission - members of Hamas' military wing have been among the violent protesters at the Gaza-Israel border.

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Swastika Trail Headed to Court

Residents of the controversial street Swastika Trail in Puslinch, Ontario are requesting a judicial review of the township's recent vote to not change the street name. The residents are arguing the decision-making process was unfair and a result of bias. Prior to the vote, FSWC had called on the township's councillors and mayor to change the name, with FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo stating in a letter that "it would be a shame if Puslinch maintains the name, disregarding everything that Canada truly stands for."

Imam with History of Antisemitism Removed from List of Speakers at Canadian Islamic Conference

FSWC commends the organizers of the upcoming Niagara Muslim Family Conference for its recent decision to remove Egyptian imam Omar Abdelkafy from its lineup of speakers following complaints from the Jewish community. The imam has a history of promoting antisemitism through sermons and online posts as well as promoting conspiracy theories about 9/11.

Guatemala to Move Embassy to Jerusalem on May 16

The Jerusalem municipality announced today that Guatemala will be relocating its embassy to Jerusalem on May 16 - two days after the US is set to move its embassy. In a statement, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat - who met with the Guatemalan ambassador and director-general of the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry - congratulated Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and his government on the "brave decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem." 

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Germany Appoints Country's First Commissioner to Combat Antisemitism

Following a rise in antisemitic protests this year, Germany has appointed German diplomat Felix Klein as the country's first commissioner to combat antisemitism - a post that was approved earlier this year by lawmakers. Germany saw a dramatic rise in antisemitism last year, with 1,453 incidents reported.

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From the Arab World

According to the World Health Organization, about 500 people may have been affected by the reported recent chemical attack in Douma, Syria. WHO - which has demanded "immediate unhindered access to the area" - cited reports from its health partners, looking at the number of patients seen at the medical facilities that exhibited symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals.

Saudi Arabia said it intercepted three ballistic missiles today, with missiles fired at Saudi cities by Houthi rebels in Yemen. Rockets were reportedly intercepted in the capital and two southern cities, marking the fourth time in five months missiles have flown over the capital city Riyadh.

Unified, We Can All Make a Difference: Join Us at Spirit of Hope 

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center invites you to join hundreds of fellow community members at the 2018 Spirit of Hope Benefit. Be part of this annual celebration of the rights and freedoms championed by the organization. 

Watch FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo explain why your presence at Spirit of Hope matters more than ever before. 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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