Navy Decision to Reinstate Sailor with Neo-Nazi History Under Review Following FSWC Outreach

August 6, 2020

Statement

Toronto (August 6, 2020) - The Royal Canadian Navy has confirmed to Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) that it has opened a “command-level review” of its decision last month to reinstate a sailor with a long history of neo-Nazi activity. FSWC has requested a meeting with Navy leadership as well as the right to participate in the review proceedings with a submission detailing its concerns with both the investigation of the sailor as well as the decision to reinstate him.

The review - which is taking place to ensure the Navy "handled this matter appropriately and in accordance with the latest Departmental guidance on hateful conduct," according to a statement from Vice-Admiral Art McDonald - comes after FSWC's outreach to the Navy and Defence Ministry.

Two weeks ago, FSWC discovered that the Navy had decided to reinstate Calgary-based Leading Seaman Boris Mihajlovic despite his ties to the neo-Nazi website Iron March and an armed branch of the neo-Nazi group Blood and Honour and demanded an investigation into this decision and that Mihajlovic be held to account for his actions. Evidence shows that as a member of Iron March, Mihajlovic advocated fascism and a “racewar”, sought to “destroy” the Canadian military, and offered to sell other white supremacists a range of military-grade weaponry, including AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades.

"The Navy's decision to reinstate a sailor despite the extensive evidence of his frightening and hateful activities remains a serious concern, so we are pleased that this matter is being addressed by the Navy and a review of this decision is taking place," said Rabbi Meyer May, Executive Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. "It is beyond curious how this sailor’s clear association with hate groups could be so easily forgiven.”

"There must be no tolerance in our armed forces for adherents of the white supremacy movement," said Jaime Kirzner-Roberts, Director of FSWC's Campaign Against Antisemitism. "Boris Mihajlovic was a long-time and committed member of a white supremacist terrorist organization. We are shocked that such an individual could be welcomed back into the Navy without any public reckoning, apology or details about any process of rehabilitation that may have taken place. It is crucial for Mihajlovic to be held to account for his extensive record of hate-motivated activities."

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