Community Intelligence Brief: June 16, 2021

June 16, 2021

Intelligence Brief

Editor, Publisher of Your Ward News Tabloid Lose Hate Crime Appeal

Despite attempting to appeal their convictions and sentences, James Sears and LeRoy St. Germaine, the editor and publisher of the hate-filled publication Your Ward News who were convicted in 2019 for wilfully promoting hatred against women and Jewish people, will be paying for the hate crimes they committed.

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) welcomed the ruling. "The court made the right decision in rejecting the appeal. Hate cannot be tolerated in our society, and those who perpetrate hate crimes must pay the price for their actions and cannot be shown leniency," said President and CEO Michael Levitt in a statement.

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New Liberal MP Jenica Atwin Walks Back Anti-Israel Rhetoric

MP Jenica Atwin, who last week left the Green Party to join the Liberals, issued a statement on Monday following backlash to a May 11 tweet in which she said, “I stand with Palestine! There are no two sides to this conflict, only human rights abuses! #EndApartheid.” In the statement, Atwin stated that both Palestinians and Israelis are suffering and she regrets if her choice of words caused harm to those who are suffering.

Among the critics of Atwin's past statements was FSWC President and CEO Michael Levitt, who tweeted, "As a former Liberal MP, I’m disappointed and concerned by the news that MP Jenica Atwin has crossed the floor to join the Liberal caucus, given her inflammatory one-sided and divisive rhetoric during the recent conflict between Israel and the terror group Hamas." While FSWC acknowledges Monday's statement, we remain gravely concerned over Atwin's use of the term "apartheid" to describe the democratic State of Israel and await further clarification from the MP, as she failed to address her use of this term in the statement.

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Canada’s Jews Say Antisemites Declared ‘Open Season’ on Them Since Gaza Conflict

Last month’s armed conflict between Israel and Hamas set the stage for antisemites in Canada to unleash unprecedented, social media-fueled attacks — in-person and online — including physical violence, incitement, and harassment.

This prompted over 200 Jewish organizations and synagogues to call on Canadians to stand with the Jewish community in the face of one of the worst antisemitic waves in Canadian history.

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Rampant Antisemitism Is Derailing Israel-Palestine Dialogue

"The flames of hatred will keep burning so long as anger mutes conversation and resentment boils over compassion. If those flames are not extinguished, peace will not only remain a lost cause in the Middle East, but throughout our city. That is, of course, unless we stop it here," writes Toronto-based journalist Mitchell Consky.

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Three-Quarters of American Jews Say They’re More Concerned About Antisemitism Following the Israel-Gaza Conflict

Three-quarters of U.S. Jews said their concern over antisemitism in the country has grown following the fighting last month in Israel and Gaza, according to a survey published Monday by the Anti-Defamation League.

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9 Firsts You Should Know About Israel’s New Government

Israel’s 36th government was sworn in at the Knesset on Sunday, with Naftali Bennett elected as prime minister and Yair Lapid as alternate prime minister, ending two years of political deadlock. The new coalition government is made up of eight political parties on all sides of the political spectrum, representing Israel's diversity and democracy.

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Gaza Arson Balloons Spark Fires in Southern Israel for Second Straight Day

Arson balloons launched from Gaza sparked fires in southern Israel for the second straight day on Wednesday, with a total of four blazes caused by incendiary balloons, according to fire and rescue services for Israel’s southern district.

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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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