Community Intelligence Brief: November 25, 2020

November 25, 2020

Intelligence Brief

FSWC Thrilled by Appointment of Irwin Cotler as Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism

Earlier today, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) commended the Government of Canada's appointment of Irwin Cotler, an internationally respected human rights advocate and founder and chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, as the country's first-ever Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism. According to a press release from the Office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Cotler will lead the Government of Canada's delegation to the IHRA, working "with other member countries and both domestic and international partners to strengthen and promote Holocaust education, remembrance, and research in Canada and around the world."

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Suspect Arrested in City Church, Synagogue Vandalism

FSWC is alarmed by a vandalism spree targeting four churches and a synagogue in Owen Sound that occurred over the weekend. "X" marks were found spray painted on the places of worship. We are pleased that Owen Sound police have since tracked down and arrested the suspect, who now faces five charges of mischief to religious property.

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Coronavirus: Jewish Leaders Outraged Hanukkah Gatherings Banned, Christmas Ones OK

Jewish community leaders in Quebec and beyond have expressed outrage following the provincial government's decision to allow groups to gather to celebrate Christmas while not letting Jewish families gather in small groups for Hanukkah. FSWC joined community institutions such as B'nai Brith Canada in calling out the Quebec government's absurd double standard, stating that "all faith communities should be treated equally and be handed the same restrictions when it comes to celebrating holidays."

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Judge Upholds Deportation Order For Former Nazi Concentration Camp Guard

Friedrich Karl Berger, who served as an armed guard during the Second World War for a group of concentration camps collectively known as Neuengamme, lost his appeal to remain in the U.S. last week. He was ordered to be deported following a trial in February.

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Germany Warns of Antisemitism Among Lockdown Protests

Felix Klein - who was appointed in 2018 to head the German government's efforts to combat antisemitism - has warned that antisemitism, including antisemitic conspiracy theories, is emerging as a common position among people protesting pandemic lockdown measures.

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Mastercard Ranks Israel as Best Country for Female Entrepreneurs

Mastercard has ranked Israel as the best country for women entrepreneurs, for the first time in the four-year history of the rankings by the global payments firm. In the 2020 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) Israel rose to first place from fourth in 2019.

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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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