Community Intelligence Brief: August 5, 2020

August 5, 2020

Intelligence Brief

Toronto-Area MP Michael Levitt to Resign to Head Jewish Human Rights Organization

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center was proud to announce yesterday the appointment of Michael Levitt as the organization's President and CEO. In the statement, Levitt stated he will “continue both the organization’s proud legacy and the work I’ve done over the past five years in fighting antisemitism and promoting human rights, including bringing a renewed focus to the issue of systemic racism in Canada and how we can work together to address it.”

“His distinguished career advocating for human rights, and his support for Israel and the fight against antisemitism, brings a high level of leadership and profile to our organization. We could not be more excited for the future,” said FSWC chairman Fred Waks.

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Israel Offers Humanitarian Aid to Lebanon After Beirut Explosions Kill Dozens

“Israel approached Lebanon through international defense and diplomatic channels to offer the Lebanese government medical humanitarian aid,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said in a joint statement after horrific explosions at a Beirut port killed dozens and injured thousands.

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Hundreds of Musicians Speak Out After Rapper’s Antisemitic Social-Media Posts

Hundreds of musicians in the United Kingdom signed an open letter titled “#NoSilenceInMusic” last week, taking a stand against "all forms of racism" and stating that "silence is not an option" following antisemitic social media posts by British rapper Wiley that resulted in a 48-hour Twitter walkout.

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Seth Rogen – Crossing the Line Between Comedy and Tragedy

In his opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post, Richard Trank, director and executive producer of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's award-winning Moriah Films division, describes how both Seth Rogen and Marc Maron's remarks about Israel and Jewish people, "at a heightened period of antisemitic pronouncements and violence", "are incredibly reckless and insensitive."

"Whether or not these two funny men intended it, antisemites all over social media are rejoicing at their comments. BDSers and anti-Zionists are proclaiming that this is proof that Jews outside of Israel are abandoning the dream of Zion and the Jewish state."

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Austria Will Allow Descendants of Holocaust Victims to Receive Citizenship

Austria's embassy in Israel announced on Sunday that the country will allow descendants of Austrian Holocaust victims to receive citizenship beginning Sept. 1. Previously, only survivors who left Austria due to Nazi persecution were entitled to receive citizenship.

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BDS ‘Jew-Hater’ Convicted for Violent Assault in Germany

On Monday, a Berlin court convicted a BDS activist for assaulting people during a presentation by an Israeli Holocaust survivor in what appears to be the first criminal penalty for violent BDS activity in Germany.

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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

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