Community Intelligence Brief: August 3, 2022

August 3, 2022

Intelligence Brief

Latest News

Osheaga Festival Apologizes After Rapper Performs in T-Shirt Emblazoned with Swastika

Montreal's Osheaga music festival released an apology after a British rapper, Slowthai, performed while dressed in a T-shirt emblazoned with a swastika. This came after FSWC and other organizations spoke out about the rapper's attire. While the T-shirt also featured the word "destroy" and the rapper's intent was to denounce Nazism, the "ambiguous display of the swastika was frightening for Jews and others and should never have made it to the stage," said FSWC, which also responded to Osheaga's "disappointing response," stating, "You won’t run the risk of confusion over your performers’ intentions if you simply do not allow them to display hate symbols on the stage."

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Jews Remain the Religious Group Most Frequently Targeted by Hate Crimes

Jews remain the religious group most targeted by hate crimes, according to a Statistics Canada report on police-reported crime statistics. The Jewish community experienced a 47 per cent increase in hate crimes in 2021, and while the community accounts for one per cent of the Canadian population, it was the victim of 14 per cent of hate crimes.

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Student Sues McGill University, Student Society Over BDS Referendum

Jonah Fried, a Jewish student at Montreal’s McGill University, has sued the school along with Students’ Society of McGill University and the Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights McGill over an anti-Israel student referendum held last spring. He has demanded a declaratory judgment stating that the referendum does not lead to any rights, obligations or actions; the Palestine Solidarity Policy is inconsistent with SSMU’s constitution and by-laws; the memorandum of agreement prohibits SSMU from enacting the policy; and the policy is “discriminatory, biased and antisemitic.”

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Holocaust Survivors Condemn Race Remarks by Hungary's Orban

Jewish community representatives voiced alarm last week after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban spoke out against creating "peoples of mixed-race." The International Auschwitz Committee, an association of Auschwitz survivors and their organizations, said the speech reminds Holocaust survivors "of the dark times of their own exclusion and persecution" and called on the EU to continue to distance itself from "Orban's racist undertones."

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Lufthansa to Hire Antisemitism Manager After Orthodox Passengers Barred from Flight

German airline Lufthansa is set to create a senior management position to tackle antisemitism and discrimination after more than a hundred visibly Jewish passengers were barred from a flight in May. It has also confirmed that it is going to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

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Israel Signs Contract to Build Embassy in Morocco

Israel’s Ambassador to Morocco David Govrin signed a construction contract on Tuesday for building a headquarters for a permanent Israeli embassy in Morocco.

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Visiting Israel, NBA Star Enes Kanter Freedom Says He Is ‘More Motivated Than Ever’ to Fight Antisemitism

NBA star and human rights activist Enes Kanter Freedom arrived in Israel over the weekend for the launch of his basketball camp for Muslim, Jewish and Christian children. His trip included visits to the Western Wall and Yad Vashem, an experience that made him more motivated to speak out against antisemitism. “I believe that we can use basketball to promote tolerance, respect and coexistence," said Enes, whose vision for peace was reinforced on Sunday, as he witnessed Israeli and Palestinian kids playing basketball together.

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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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