Community Intelligence Brief: August 2, 2023

August 2, 2023


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Latest News

New Figures Show Hate Crimes Targeting Canada’s Jewish Community Continuing to Rise

Canada’s Jewish community is experiencing a continuing increase in hate crimes, despite a decrease in police-reported hate-motivated incidents targeting religious communities. According to newly released Statistics Canada 2022 data, the Jewish community was the target of 502 police-reported hate crimes last year, a 2 per cent increase from 2021, which saw an exorbitant increase of 49 per cent from 2020.

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Swastika Painted on ‘Toronto For All’ Ad at Scarborough Bus Shelter

The Toronto Transit Commission has condemned swastika graffiti discovered on one of its bus shelters yesterday. A resident reported the graffiti to the TTC and Astral Media after he spotted it on the City of Toronto's Toronto For All ad against Islamophobia.

"An awful expression of hate targeting the Muslim community and the important Toronto For All message supporting diversity and the fight against Islamophobia in the City of Toronto," FSWC stated in an online post. "We denounce this hateful graffiti and have reached out to the Toronto Police Service to ensure a thorough investigation to find the perpetrator."

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Fear and Frustration Escalate After Antisemitic, Anti-LGBTQ Graffiti Found in London Park

Members of London, Ontario's Jewish and LGBTQ+ communities are expressing alarm after hateful graffiti - including swastikas and phrases such as "No to lgbtq, yes to fascism," "I hate lgbtq" and "Heil Hitler" - was discovered at a local park. "We've reached a tipping point where this seems to be happening on a weekly basis. It's really scary," said Rob Nagus of Jewish London.

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Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooter Sentenced to Death for Killing 11 Worshippers in 2018 Massacre

Earlier today, the jury in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting trial unanimously recommended the death penalty for Robert Bowers, the gunman convicted of murdering 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in 2018. This was the third and final stage of the trial that led to the gunman being convicted of all 63 counts against him, including hate crime charges.

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‘X’ Marks the Spot of Jew Hatred

"Twitter, or X as its controversial owner Elon Musk recently renamed it, is a particularly toxic cesspool of unbridled racism and harassment, where antisemitism has pride of place," writes FSWC President and CEO Michael Levitt in his latest column in the Toronto Star, delving into rising antisemitic content on the X platform, particularly since Elon Musk took over the company, and the importance of holding social media giants to account for allowing hate to fester.

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Bollywood Film Accused of Trivializing Holocaust with Auschwitz Scenes

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has called on Amazon to remove the Bollywood film Bawaal from the Prime Video streaming platform following the film's portrayal of the characters' visits to some of the sites of the Holocaust. SWC's Rabbi Abraham Cooper described it as a "banal trivialization of the suffering and systematic murder of millions of victims of the Nazi Holocaust," stating, "Auschwitz is not a metaphor. It is the quintessential example of man’s capacity for evil."

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Indian Police Thwart Attack on Mumbai Chabad House

Indian intelligence services recently thwarted a planned terrorist attack on the Chabad house in Mumbai, with police arresting two Pakistani suspects who were in possession of explosives, a drone and Google images of the Chabad house in the Colaba area of South Mumbai.

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Six Israelis Wounded in Ma’ale Adumim Terror Attack

Six people were left wounded, one of whom was in serious condition, after a terror attack in the West Bank yesterday. A 20-year-old Palestinian terrorist had opened fire with a handgun outside the main shopping mall in the city of Ma’ale Adumim.

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David Leitner, Who Made Eating Falafel a Symbol of Holocaust Resilience, Dies at 94

The late Holocaust survivor David Leitner inspired "Operation Dugo," the widely-marked tradition of eating falafel to mark the date in 1945 when he and thousands of other Holocaust victims were forced on a death march from Auschwitz.

May his memory be a blessing.

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Polish City of Warsaw Adopts IHRA Definition of Antisemitism

The City of Warsaw adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism last Friday, joining around more than 1,000 global entities that have done so. This decision comes after Poland adopted the definition in 2021.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger to Receive Award of Courage From Holocaust Museum L.A.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has been confirmed to receive an inaugural Award of Courage from the Holocaust Museum L.A. on November 6. The award recognizes his longtime advocacy “against antisemitism and bigotry” online and offline.

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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

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