Community Intelligence Brief: November 4, 2020

November 4, 2020

Intelligence Brief

Michael Levitt: Taking a Stand Against Antisemitism

"Sadly, it is today’s reality that antisemitism is often weaponized under the thin guise of 'anti-Zionism' and we in the Jewish community see right through it," writes FSWC President and CEO Michael Levitt in his latest column in the Toronto Star.

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Community Update: Ottawa School Takes Action After Offensive Anti-Israel Video Used in Classroom

FSWC was disturbed to learn from a parent this week that an anti-Israel video that had previously been cut from the curriculum of a Grade 10 civics course was still being used for in-class instruction at an Ottawa-area high school. FSWC immediately contacted the Ontario Ministry of Education expressing its concern and frustration that the offensive, deeply misinformed video was still being used in the classroom. In a statement to FSWC, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce reiterated that the “anti-Israel and antisemitic video should never have been shown to Ontario’s students,” noting the Ministry had previously issued a directive to all school boards to cease using the video and adding that the Ottawa Carlton District School Board (OCDSB) “will need to answer for why this video is still being used, given the explicit direction to delete the video.”

A parent confirmed to FSWC yesterday evening that the principal sent a letter of apology to the families of all students at the school, stating that the video was antisemitic and unacceptable and adding that the school was investigating how the video ended up being shown in the classroom despite the Ministry directives. FSWC commends the principal and the OCDSB for the quick action and response.

'I See Shades of Pre-WWII': Holocaust Survivor Shares His Story with Sask. Students

Yesterday, Holocaust survivor Max Eisen was in the FSWC classroom speaking virtually to some 3,000 students in grades 7-12 and educators in more than 100 classrooms across the province of Saskatchewan. Max shared his powerful testimony, including his experience surviving Auschwitz, and answered many insightful questions from students.

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FSWC and RWCHR Statement on the Chinese Government’s Persecution of Uyghurs

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights stand with the Uyghur community against the persecution and human rights abuses committed against their people by the Chinese government, and join the call on the Government of Canada to recognize, condemn and take measures to help put an end to the genocide taking place in Xianjing.

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4 Victims Dead in Vienna Attack, Austria Declares Official Mourning Period

Four victims have died and seven are in life-threatening condition following a shooting attack in central Vienna by a 20-year-old Islamist extremist earlier this week. "Horrified by the vicious terror attack targeting civilians in Vienna," FSWC's Michael Levitt said in a post on social media. "FSWC condemns this cruel and cowardly act. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We must stand together against terror wherever it rears its ugly head."

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European Police in Coordinated Raids Against Online Hate Speech

Police throughout Europe - including in Germany, Italy, France, Greece, Norway, Britain and the Czech Republic - launched coordinated raids yesterday as part of a clampdown on online hate speech promoting racism and xenophobia. The raids, part of an annual drive initiated by German prosecutors, include apartment searches to seize evidence such as smart phones and laptops.

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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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