Community Intelligence Brief: August 17, 2020

August 17, 2020

Intelligence Brief

In WWII, an Antisemitic Canada Kept Jewish ‘Enemy Aliens’ in Barbed Wire Camps

Thousands of German and Austrian Jews were arrested in Britain and shipped overseas, including to Canada, where they were kept together with Nazi prisoners of war in harrowing conditions. Biochemist Reinhart Pariser was one of them and had previously shared his story of being forced to leave England on a boat crammed with German Jews and German Nazis and being held in a camp for a year in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

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Facebook Algorithm Found to 'Actively Promote' Holocaust Denial

An investigation by UK-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue found that Facebook's algorithm "actively promotes" Holocaust denial content. According to the organization, typing "Holocaust" in the platform's search function brings up suggestions for denial pages, a discovery that comes amid Facebook's unwillingness to categorize Holocaust denial as a form of hate speech.

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Florida State University Adopts Universal Definition of Antisemitism

The president of Florida State University (FSU) announced on Wednesday that the university has adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, adding that the division of student affairs "will institute annual training for its staff surrounding antisemitism, religion discrimination" as well as the university calendar has been updated to capture all significant religious holidays and has "re-established its Jewish Student Union and is creating a Jewish Alumni Network."

FSWC commends FSU for taking this important step to counter antisemitism on campus and stands in support of all universities in Canada following suit by adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism and ensuring a safe space for Jewish students.

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Spanish Priests in Paris in WWII Saved Over 130 Jews with Forged Baptism

Between 1940 and 1944, a group of Spanish Claretian missionaries based in Paris forged baptismal and wedding certificates for more than 150 Jews to protect them from persecution, a Spanish historian has uncovered.

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Israel Condemns UN Security Council's Vote on Iran Embargo

The UN Security Council's decision to not renew a UN arms embargo on Iran, defeating a US resolution to indefinitely extend the embargo, has been condemned by Israeli leaders, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claiming the UNSC is encouraging weapons sales.

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Report Antisemitism and News of Concern to FSWC

If you would like to report antisemitism or news of concern to Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, please email jaime@fswc.ca.

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