Community Intelligence Brief: March 31, 2021

March 31, 2021

Intelligence Brief

Toronto Bus Shelter Vandalized with Antisemitic Blood Libel on Eve of Passover

On Sunday evening, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center reported the vandalism - which read "Israel's killing children again... Enjoy your weekend" - to the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Special Constable Service after being notified by a member of the Jewish community who spotted it in the area of Keele Street and Sheppard Avenue West on Saturday afternoon. The TTC notified Toronto police, who were immediately at the scene investigating the incident and having the poster removed.

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Statistics Canada Reveals Concerning Increase in Hate Crimes

A Statistics Canada report released on Monday revealed a 7% increase in police-reported hate crimes in 2019, with the Black community being the most targeted group, followed by the Jewish community which was also the most targeted religious group.

FSWC is extremely troubled by the increase in hate crimes targeting minority groups. While there was a decrease in reported crimes targeting Jewish people, there was a concerning number of unreported antisemitic incidents. Even though the Jewish community accounts for only 1% of the population in Canada, it was the victim of 16% of hate crimes.

Read FSWC statement

Canadian Jewish Students Call on Universities to Adopt Antisemitism Definition

More than 140 Jewish students across the country have signed an open letter calling on Canadian post-secondary institutions to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. Student signatories to the letter hail from across the country, with 25-plus academic institutions represented, including the University of New Brunswick, Concordia University, the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia and Wilfrid Laurier University.

"We support this great initiative taken by Jewish students across the country. It's time for all universities to take a real stand against growing antisemitism on campuses, starting with the adoption of the IHRA working definition of antisemitism," FSWC stated in an online post. Sign the open letter here.

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Google Maps Slammed by Campaigners for Unmoderated Antisemitic Comments on Auschwitz Site

An investigation by The Guardian into the Google Maps site for the Auschwitz concentration camp revealed more than 150 antisemitic comments posted by users. Even more than 24 hours after the offensive reviews were reported to Google, the majority remained online.

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Germany Closes Case Against Ex-Nazi Guard, 95, Citing Lack of Evidence

German prosecutors said Wednesday they have closed their case against former Nazi concentration camp guard Friedrich Karl Berger due to lack of evidence and "sufficient suspicion." The 95-year-old was recently deported by the U.S. in what was called "possibly the last" such expulsion of a former Nazi by Washington.

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Yemen’s Jewish Population, Once Over 50,000, Drops to Below 10

Amid the ongoing civil war in Yemen, 13 Jews have immigrated to Egypt, leaving the country’s once vibrant community of at least 50,000 with a population of fewer than 10.

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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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