Community Intelligence Brief: June 14, 2023

June 14, 2023


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Latest News

House, Senate Vote to Give Russian Dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza Honorary Citizenship

Canada's Parliament has voted to bestow honorary Canadian citizenship on Vladimir Kara-Murza, a prominent Russian journalist, activist and opposition figure who is serving a 25-year wrongful prison sentence for "spreading deliberately false information" about Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Irwin Cotler, Canada's former attorney general and current special envoy on preserving Holocaust remembrance and combatting antisemitism, argued that honorary citizenship sends a message of support to all Russians detained for speaking out against the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

"We welcome Parliament's decision to grant Vladimir Kara-Murza honorary Canadian citizenship and commend all parliamentarians who fought for this symbolic move," FSWC stated in an online post. "This sends a strong message against Russia's unjust imprisonment of citizens who criticize its invasion of Ukraine and attempts to silence those who are standing up for freedom and democracy."

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Australia Is Banning Nazi Symbols to Curb the Far Right

The Australian government is working to tackle the rise in far-right groups in the country, introducing a bill in Parliament this week to ban the trade and public display of the swastika or SS symbols. The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Prohibited Hate Symbols and Other Measures) Bill would target any items featuring the symbols, including flags, clothing and memorabilia, with offenders facing a maximum penalty of up to 12 months in prison.

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Toronto Holocaust Museum Opens with Mandate to Educate in the 'Post-Survivor Era'

The Toronto Holocaust Museum opened its doors last week to a crowd of Holocaust survivors, Jewish community leaders and dignitaries from all levels of government. Nearly 10,000 square feet, the museum features a number of powerful exhibits that teach the history of the Holocaust and share Holocaust survivors' testimonies and a room of remembrance with the names of hundreds of Holocaust victims with a connection to Toronto. The museum expects tens of thousands of annual visitors.

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Hate Symbols Sprayed Across New Brunswick Park Named After Teen Who Led Kindness Campaign

A school playground in Riverview, New Brunswick named after a teen who led a campaign encouraging kindness was vandalized with hate symbols Sunday night. Anglophone East School District staff quickly covered and removed the graffiti the next day, and the Codiac Regional RCMP is investigating.

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German Curator on a Mission to Return Silver Heirlooms Stolen from Jewish Families by the Nazis

Matthias Weniger, a curator at the Bavarian National Museum in Munich, is overseeing restitution efforts, making it his mission to return as many of the 111 silver objects as possible to the descendants of the original owners, Jews who were forced by the Nazis to bring their silver objects to pawn shops. Weniger has so far managed to return about 50 objects to the family members and relatives of the original owners.

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In First, Artificial Intelligence Used for Holocaust Education

Advances in virtual reality and artificial intelligence are giving Holocaust survivors hope their stories will live on. Inge Auerbacher, 88, is the star of a new interactive VR experience called “Tell Me, Inge” in which she recounts her horrific experiences, which launched in Berlin last Tuesday. The project, billed as the first AI and metaverse Holocaust education experience in Germany. is a collaboration between LA-based company StoryFile, the World Jewish Congress and Meta.

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Kosovo Adopts IHRA Antisemitism Definition

Kosovo's chargé d’affaires to Israel, Ines Demiri, announced last week that the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo has unanimously voted and adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, one of the few Muslim-majority countries to do so.

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Antisemitism-Themed ‘Leopoldstadt’ and ‘Parade’ Are Big Tony Awards Winners

Two Broadway shows on antisemitism - the play Leopoldstadt and the musical revival Parade - won multiple Tony awards on Sunday. Some of the honorees spoke out about the shows' messages, with Michael Arden, director of Parade, warning the crowd to learn the lessons of the show, "or else we are doomed to repeat the horrors of our history."

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Israel Defeats South Korea for Bronze at U20 World Cup, After Historic Run

Israel's under-20 (U20) national soccer team won third place on Sunday night, after defeating South Korea 3-1. The win came after the team made local soccer history by defeating Brazil 3-2 in the quarter-finals.

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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