Community Intelligence Brief: October 17, 2018

October 17, 2018

Intelligence Brief

Quote of the Day

"We are committed to a two-state solution but, frankly, it hasn't been going that well. Not a lot of progress has been made. And you don't keep doing the same thing and expect a different result...Australia should be open-minded to this and I am open-minded to this and our government is open-minded to this."

- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on the possibility of moving Australia's embassy to Jerusalem

Father Desbois Speaks Out About Extraordinary Research on Horrors of the Holocaust

On Monday, members of the community were welcomed to a thought-provoking conversation with Father Patrick Desbois, an event hosted by Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center. Answering numerous questions presented by FSWC's Avi Benlolo, Father Desbois discussed his work in uncovering mass graves, investigating genocide in Europe and around the world, and modern-day issues facing the world today - including terrorism and rising antisemitism.

A big thank you to our co-chairs, Alan and Adele Farber, and to everyone who came out in support of Desbois and his incredibly important work.

FSWC Brings Holocaust Education to Students and Law Enforcement Officials

Yesterday was a busy day for FSWC's education team, as our educators ran three programs, working with students and law enforcement.

While students were in the Tolerance Training Centre participating in a Roots of Hate and Intolerance workshop, the Tour for Humanity paid a two-day visit to a school in Oakville to provide Holocaust and human rights workshops to Grade 6-8 students.

Up in North Bay, our director of education was joined by Holocaust survivor Faigie Libman to present a Lessons in Humanity program to law enforcement officials of the OPP, North East Region. Discussions included the history of the Holocaust with a focus on the role of law enforcement.

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Australian Embassy in Israel May Be Moved to Jerusalem

Australia's new prime minister, Scott Morrison, said on Tuesday that he was "open to" moving the country's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, calling it a "sensible" proposal. Morrison went on to say that not a lot of progress has been made in pursuing a two-state solution, and "you don't keep doing the same thing and expect different results."

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Be’er Sheva Home Destroyed by Powerful Gaza Rocket, Family Miraculously Saved

A rocket launched from Gaza overnight has destroyed a home in Be'er Sheva, Israel, seconds after a mother and her three children managed to evacuate to the home's bomb shelter. A Red Alert warning system was activated at 3:39 a.m. in the area and surrounding Negev communities. The family was extracted by police and treated for shock.

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Hamas Makes It Clear It Has No Interest in Peace with Israel

In an opinion piece, Vivian Bercovici - Canada's former ambassador to Israel - argues that Hamas has no intention of pursuing peace with Israel, as it continues to promote riots and violence, oftentimes in the form of men armed with Molotov cocktails, knives and grenades. "...They aspire to overrun the Israeli border, murder and maim civilians, and then carry on to liberate all of Palestine and, especially, Jerusalem, from Israeli rule," she writes. "There is nothing peaceful about these gatherings."

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'We Have to Make Antisemitism More Visible': Berlin Schools to Report Incidents

Starting in the 2019/2020 school year, educational institutions in Berlin will be required to report cases of antisemitism to police or school authorities. This decision was made by the city's senate administration on Monday in order to raise awareness of the problem in schools and help answer the question of whether antisemitism is growing through reliable figures. While harassment is already required to be reported, this decision requires the explicit mention of antisemitism when reporting such incidents.

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While you are here, take a moment to learn about us

Since its launch in 2013, the Tour for Humanity has visited more than 550 schools Ontario, bringing invaluable lessons on tolerance, human rights and justice to hundreds of students and educators each week.

This 30-seat, technologically advanced mobile human rights education centre inspires students of all ages to stand up against hatred and intolerance, using people such as Simon Wiesenthal as inspiration for making the world a better place.

Support Tour for Humanity

Israel Named World's 20th Most Competitive Nation

According to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report published on Wednesday, Israel has the 20th most competitive economy in the world. The study, which looked at 140 economies, also revealed that Israel has the most positive attitude toward entrepreneurial risk in the world.

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UN Gives ‘Palestine’ Extra Rights So It Can Head Major Bloc in 2019

The UN General Assembly voted on Tuesday to temporarily grant the "State of Palestine" additional rights and privileges, allowing them to head the biggest bloc of developing countries at the UN. 146 states voted in favour of the decision, three countries - US, Israel and Australia - voted against it, and 15 countries abstained.

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From the Arab World

As many as 13 million in Yemen are facing starvation due to famine caused by what has been called the world's "forgotten war." According to the UN, it could be the "worst famine seen anywhere in the world for 100 years." Caught in the middle of a civil war between Iran-backed Houthi rebels and Saudi-backed Yemeni government forces, close to 10,000 civilians have been killed and millions displaced. Strict Saudi blockades and travel restrictions have prevented food and aid from reaching Yemen, causing food prices to rise and resulting in many being unable to afford basic items.

State of the Union 2018 Brings Story of Resilience and Triumph

On November 5 at the Forest Hill Jewish Centre, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center and community members will welcome Stuart and Robbi Force, who will share their story of resilience and triumph in the face of tragedy.

Hear their inspiring story and what they have to say about issues such as terrorism at State of the Union. To register, contact us at or 416-864-9735 x 21.

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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