Community Intelligence Brief: March 3, 2021

March 3, 2021

Intelligence Brief

'It's Insulting': Jewish Community Reacts to Yellow Star Used by B.C. Anti-Vaxxer on T-Shirt

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center joined other Jewish community organizations and members of the community in expressing anger after a Vancouver woman created a T-shirt design featuring a yellow star with the words "COVID Caust," which compares the COVID-19 vaccine rollout to the Holocaust.

"There is no justification for this egregious and insensitive piece of clothing," FSWC, which had reported several of the woman's posts to Instagram, stated in an online post. "The yellow star symbolizes the persecution and murder of millions of Jews during the Holocaust, while vaccines and masks are saving lives. The comparison is wrong on so many levels."

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ICC Prosecutor Announces Formal Investigation into Israeli 'War Crimes'

The International Criminal Court announced today it is opening a full war crimes probe against Israel and the Hamas terrorist group in the Gaza Strip. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the decision to investigate Israel “undiluted antisemitism and the height of hypocrisy.”

FSWC is deeply disturbed by news that the ICC has chosen to launch a biased and highly politicized investigation against Israel without having the necessary jurisdiction to do so. Canada has repeatedly raised this issue along with many other countries, which the Court has continued to recklessly ignore. Read FSWC's recent statement about this issue here.

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Jewish Groups Raise Antisemitism Concerns Ahead of NDP MP's Chat with Corbyn

FSWC joins CIJA and the Board of Deputies of British Jews in voicing concern over NDP MP Niki Ashton's decision to host an upcoming virtual fundraiser featuring disgraced former UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn as the keynote speaker. The March 20 event is called “Building Solidarity” – an ironic title given the shameful antisemitic discrimination, harassment, tropes and propaganda sowed by Corbyn and his inner circle within the British Labour party.

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Racist Graffiti Found in South Vancouver Park

At least eight trees were found covered with hateful graffiti, including swastikas and the words “white power,” in a Vancouver park over the weekend. In a statement, the Vancouver Park Board and City of Vancouver condemned "the abhorrent acts of racism" and said they "stand in solidarity with the Indigenous, Black, racialized and Jewish communities targeted by these messages."

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B.C. Mayor Who Compared Gun Owners to Holocaust Victims to Seek Anger Management Counselling

The mayor of a small town in British Columbia has publicly apologized and said she is seeking anger management counselling and cultural sensitivity training after she stated in a Facebook comment that she feels "like a Jews back in the day... Waiting for my cattle car" in a discussion about the federal government's plans to enact new gun control laws, and after being accused of anti-Indigenous racism.

FSWC has reached out to the mayor to offer virtual sensitivity training and Holocaust education through our centre.

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‘I Feel Like Justice Has Been Done’: Alek Minassian Guilty of 10 Counts of First-Degree Murder in Yonge St. Van Attack

The man who planned and carried out the Yonge Street van attack in April 2018 is criminally responsible for his actions, a judge ruled Wednesday. He was found guilty of 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.

FSWC is relieved by today's verdict, which sends a message that perpetrators of such horrendously violent and evil acts cannot escape justice, and calls on all to remember the victims and survivors of this horrific tragedy and stand united against hate.

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Neo-Nazi Who Planned to Blow Up Synagogue Sentenced to 19 Years

A 28-year-old Colorado man who prosecutors say is a self-identified neo-Nazi was sentenced to more than 19 years for a plan to blow up one of the state's oldest synagogues, officials said. While he planned to blow up the synagogue, which was built in 1900, he was unknowingly in contact with the FBI.

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A Friendship Interrupted: Two women Reunited 82 Years After Escaping Nazi Germany

One of the last things Betty Grebenschikoff remembers before escaping Nazi Germany in the spring of 1939 was saying goodbye to her best friend Anne Marie Wahrenberg, who escaped Germany with her parents several months after the Grebenschikoffs. In November, after 82 years, the two women finally reunited.

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Petition Demands Apology from BBC for Debate on Jews as ‘Ethnic Minority’

Nearly 1,500 people have signed a petition demanding that the BBC apologize for airing a panel discussion on Monday about whether or not Jews are an “ethnic minority.” The BBC2 show “Politics Live” held the talk in response to a Twitter post on Saturday by Labour Party deputy leader Angela Rayner, who said that the new head of the party’s Scottish branch, Anas Sarwar, is “the first-ever ethnic minority leader of a political party anywhere in the U.K," despite previous leadership by Jewish statesmen.

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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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