Progress in the Fight Against Antisemitism in 2021

December 24, 2021

Newsletter

While the Jewish community faced many challenges this year, particularly rising antisemitism coming from the left and right, there has also been progress worth recognizing. As we head into Shabbat and enjoy the holiday season, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center is pleased to highlight and share a number of cases where our collective voices and advocacy had a substantial impact on the front lines.

Stay tuned for FSWC's 2021 Year in Review, and in the meantime, check out our Impact Report to learn more about the important advocacy and education work we do every day. Interested in helping make a difference in the Jewish community and supporting the fight against antisemitism and hate? Make a donation today!

Support the work of FSWC

Following a hard-fought advocacy campaign by FSWC, the Royal Canadian Navy announced in February that it had released Boris Mihajlovic, a sailor with neo-Nazi ties. The decision came after numerous calls by FSWC for the Canadian Armed Forces to investigate the Navy’s decision last year to reinstate Mihajlovic and for more action to be taken to ensure hate activity and extremism will not be tolerated in the military.

Read more

Following outrage throughout the Jewish community, last month Toronto District School Board (TDSB) trustees voted to reject the unjust conclusion of the Integrity Commissioner that Trustee Alexandra Lulka breached the Board Member Code of Conduct when she spoke out against antisemitism. FSWC - which joined other organizations, including CIJA and B'nai Brith Canada, in calling on community members to write to their local trustees - had sent a letter to trustees expressing alarm over the Integrity Commissioner's call to censure Trustee Lulka and stating that it would only “embolden perpetrators of antisemitism while making those who wish to confront antisemitism fearful of doing so.”

Read more

Last month, Alberta's education ministry decided to pull a problematic document, which minimized the actions of the Nazi regime, from the provincial government website and "Alberta Education publications." The decision came after FSWC representatives raised concerns to senior staff in the office of Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange regarding the document, which advised that educators should include in their resources both “positive and negative behaviours and attitudes of the various groups portrayed” and used the Nazis as an example.

Read more

Two federal NDP candidates, Sidney Coles and Dan Osborne, stepped down in September and "agreed to educate themselves further about antisemitism" after revelations of their tweets, including antisemitic conspiracy theories exposed by FSWC.

Read more

February saw good news when Canadian Nationalist Party leader Travis Patron was arrested and charged with wilful promotion of hate in connection to an antisemitic video he created and circulated widely on social media. Last year, FSWC filed a criminal hate speech complaint with the RCMP and raised concerns with the attorney general in Saskatchewan in response to a flyer posted on the Canadian Nationalist Party social media pages that quoted the video, in which Patron claimed that Jewish people "infiltrate the media, they hijack the central bank, and they infect the body politic like a parasite," and "what we need to do...is remove these people, once and for all, from our country."

Read more

Earlier this year, over the span of days, FSWC received two reports of Nazi flags found flying in rural Alberta, one near the village of Boyle and another near Breton. FSWC was immediately in touch with local RCMP, which in both cases launched investigations and ensured the flags were removed at both properties.

Read more

Following action by FSWC earlier this year, online auction platform LiveAuctioneers suspended Montreal auction house Madison's Historical and removed disturbing Holocaust and Nazi relics that were being sold in an auction, including a used Zyklon B gas canister, SS weapons and military gear, personal items and documents belonging to concentration camp prisoners, among many other items.

Read more

This year, the Government of Canada put forward numerous pledges as part of its commitment to fight antisemitism and promote Holocaust awareness, including establishing the Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism as a permanent position, supported by increased resources, and supporting and promoting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism - both of which FSWC called for during Canada's National Summit on Antisemitism in July.

Read more

This past spring, the Jewish community faced an immense uptick in antisemitism during and in the aftermath of the conflict between Israel and the terror group Hamas. Standing united, hundreds of Jewish groups and institutions across Canada signed joint statements, written by FSWC, B'nai Brith Canada, CIJA and Jewish Federations of Canada, expressing solidarity with the people of Israel and appealing to Canadians to stand with us in the face of antisemitism. Both statements appeared in the Toronto Star and online, seen by tens of thousands of people.

< Back to News Room