Community Intelligence Brief: September 12, 2018

September 12, 2018

Intelligence Brief

Quote of the Day

"When people hear the kind of language that has been coming out of Labour, that’s been brought to the surface among Jeremy Corbyn’s earlier speeches, they cannot but feel an existential threat... Jews have been in Britain since 1656, I know of no other occasion in these 362 years when Jews – the majority of our community – are asking 'is this country safe to bring up our children?'"

- Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom

Global Jewish Population Reaches 14.7 Million

Ahead of Rosh Hashanah, statistics revealed that the total Jewish population has reached 14.7 million - slightly up from last year's 14.6 million. Israel has the largest Jewish population, with 6.6 million Jews living in the country, while the majority of the diaspora lives in the US (5.7 million), France (453,000) and Canada (391,000).

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Nearly 40% of British Jews Would 'Seriously Consider' Emigrating If Corbyn Became PM: Poll

A Jewish Chronicle poll reveals that nearly 40% of British Jews would "seriously consider emigrating" if Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn became prime minister. With around 290,000 Jews currently living in the UK, the poll results suggest that the election of a Labour government would leave around 115,000 seriously considering a new life abroad.

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FSWC Notes Canada's Announcement on MS St. Louis Apology

FSWC notes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's announcement that Canada will issue a formal apology on November 7 for Canada turning away Jewish refugees on the MS St. Louis in 1939 who were fleeing Nazi Germany. “This is an important acknowledgement by the prime minister. As antisemitism has once more risen in Canada, this provides an additional opportunity for the government to address contemporary issues,” said FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo.

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Canadians Stand with MPs Following Antisemitic Attack

Canadians, including government officials, joined in speaking out last week after an antisemitic post attacking two Canadian MPs was published on Twitter by the Chair of the organization Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, Dimitri Lascaris. Lascaris claimed MPs Anthony Housefather and Michael Levitt were more devoted to Israel than Canada - a statement that is clearly antisemitic, as outlined in the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

"Accusations of dual loyalty are epitome of antisemitism. Canada-Israel relations are stronger than ever as evidenced in $1.7B in trade and business development, cultural and security exchanges, shared values in human rights," Avi Benlolo posted on Twitter. "We stand with you against this vile and despicable antisemitic attack."

Your Partnership Is Key to Fighting Against Global Antisemitism and Anti-Israel Hatred

Your key partnership this past year has been essential to the fight against unprecedented global antisemitism and anti-Israel hatred. As nearly 15% of Canadians hold anti-Semitic views, we need your help to continue the fight against antisemitism and extremism in the country.

FSWC is doing more than simply speaking out against racism, bigotry and hate; we are taking measures to actively counter hatred before it starts through our high-level educational initiatives.

Partner with us to counter antisemitism and anti-Israel hatred in Canada.

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US Orders Closure of PLO Mission in Washington

The US State Department confirmed on Monday that it has ordered the closure of the Palestinian Liberation Organization mission in Washington, DC. “The PLO has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel... To the contrary, PLO leadership has condemned a U.S. peace plan they have not yet seen and refused to engage with the US government with respect to peace efforts and otherwise,” said the State Department spokeswoman.

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The Big Hole in Germany’s Nazi Reckoning? Its Colonial History

Despite being lauded for how the country has confronted its Nazi history, Germany's reckoning with its Nazi past is not as complete as might be assumed. Activists and historians are arguing that Germany has yet to come to terms with its violent colonial legacy in Africa, which included German colonizers killing tens of thousands in African countries between 1884 and 1918, which laid the groundwork for and inspired Nazi atrocities.

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Report: Nearly 8,000 Acres of Land Lost to Palestinian Arson Terrorism

As the number of incendiary kites and balloons being flown into Israel has fallen in recent weeks, Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority has begun assessing the damage caused by fires in Israeli parks and nature reserves. This arson terrorism campaign promoted by Hamas has destroyed some 7,900 acres of Israeli fields, parks and other lands. Around 14% of all nature reserves in the region bordering the Gaza Strip have been lost to fire.

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From the Arab World

In a report released today, UN investigators asserted that the Syrian government committed war crimes by using chlorine in three attacks against civilians in 2018. This brings the number of chemical attacks confirmed to have been committed by Assad’s troops since 2013 to 33. The report also states that “munitions documents were built around industrially-produced Iranian artillery rockets known to have been supplied to forces commanded by the government.”

Be Part of the Human Kindness Project

Every year, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center inspires thousands of students to be compassionate through acts of kindness, encouraging them to seek out positive role models who have changed the world for the better. With the Tour for Humanity back in action and ready to spread a message of tolerance and human kindness, consider sponsoring a full-day Tour for Humanity visit to a school in Ontario.

For more information, contact Melissa at or 416-864-9735 ext. 40.

Sponsor a Full-Day Tour for Humanity Visit

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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