Community Intelligence Brief: September 14, 2022

September 14, 2022

Intelligence Brief

Latest News

National Holocaust Monument 'Desecrated' by Use as Photo and Video Backdrop

The National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa is meant to ensure "the lessons of the Holocaust, as well as the remarkable contribution Holocaust survivors have made to Canada, remain within the national consciousness for generations to come." Yet numerous people have flocked to the site to use it as a backdrop for photos and videos, including for a fashion campaign that has been getting attention recently.

In an online post late last week, FSWC called the fashion shoot "extremely inappropriate and disrespectful toward the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. While we're pleased that the photographer took down videos of the fashion shoot, the shoot should not have occurred in the first place."

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Hamilton Police Say Pair of Hate Crimes Target City’s Jewish Community

Hamilton police have arrested a man accused of breaking into a Jewish home and destroying a Star of David found on the window. A hate crime investigation is underway. In the meantime, Hamilton police are also investigating a separate incident involving several antisemitic messages discovered in the city's downtown area.

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'A Big Boy with a Big Heart:' Slain Toronto Police Officer Const. Andrew Hong Fondly Remembered

Toronto Police Constable Andrew Hong is being remembered as a “gentle giant,” a “larger than life” person whose positive presence was felt before he even entered a room. He was tragically murdered in a GTA shooting spree Monday afternoon. One other person was also murdered and three others were injured after being shot in two separate incidents.

Our thoughts are with Const. Hong's family and Toronto Police colleagues as they grieve this terrible loss.

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Chief Rabbi of UK: Queen Elizabeth II’s Affection for the Jewish People Ran Deep

Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom Ephraim Mirvis released a video message praising Queen Elizabeth II following her passing on Thursday, saying she “embodied the most noble values of British society.” He applauded the late queen’s “warm relationship” with the Jewish community, adding that she had a particular commitment to “interfaith relations and Holocaust memorial.”

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Prague Cobblestones Made from Jewish Headstones Returned to Community

On September 7, the Jewish community of Prague in the Czech Republic unveiled its new "Return of the Stones" monument at its cemetery, consisting of about 6,000 cobblestones made from Jewish headstones that were desecrated after the Holocaust. The cobblestones were used in 1987 to pave Prague’s Wenceslas Square, and the municipality finally returned the stones to the Jewish community in 2020.

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Japanese Travel Agent Honoured for Helping Jews in Holocaust

Japanese travel agent Tatsuo Osako was posthumously honoured by Israel and Japan for helping save thousands of Jews fleeing from Europe during the Holocaust. Despite Japan’s alliance with Nazi Germany at the time, he strategically placed himself at the port and distributed aid money he received from Jewish rescue organizations to the refugees.

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IDF Maj. Bar Falah Killed in Gunfight with Terrorists

Earlier today, the Israel Defense Forces identified the IDF officer killed during an overnight gun battle with Palestinian terrorists as 30-year-old Bar Falah, resident of Netanya.

May his memory forever be a blessing.

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Shira Haas to Play Israeli Superheroine in New Captain America Film

Shira Haas, an Israeli actress who previously starred in the Netflix series Shtisel and Unorthodox, has been cast as Israeli superheroine Sabra in the new Captain America film due for release in 2024. The character Sabra made her first full appearance in Marvel Comics more than 40 years ago in an Incredible Hulk story in Israel, entitled “Power and Peril in the Promised Land.”

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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 advocacy@fswc.ca.

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