Community Intelligence Brief: November 15, 2023

November 15, 2023


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Latest News

Trudeau Criticized for Calling on Israel to 'Exercise Maximum Restraint' in Gaza

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced criticism from Jewish leaders today following his comments on the Israel-Hamas war. FSWC President and CEO Michael Levitt called the remarks "reckless accusations against Israel," stating, "His words, which belie the facts on the ground in the war between a fellow democracy and a genocidal terror group, may have been meant to deliver a message overseas but that's not the only place they landed."

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‘A Mighty Legacy of Peace Building’: Tributes Are Pouring in for Canadian-Israeli Peace Activist Vivian Silver

Tributes have been pouring in from across the country for Vivian Silver, a Canadian-Israeli peace activist murdered in the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack on southern Israel. Long believed to have been among the estimated 240 people taken hostage by Hamas, Silver's death was confirmed by her family this week.

May her memory be a blessing.

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‘Let Our People Go’: Nearly 300,000 Rally in Washington for Israel, Hostages’ Release

Nearly 300,000 people rallied in Washington, DC on Tuesday at the March for Israel, making it the largest pro-Israel gathering in US history. Attendees called for the release of the hostages held in Gaza and condemned Hamas's Oct. 7 massacre with a cry of "Never Again."

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Toronto’s Jewish Community Calls for Release of Hostages at a Sunday Afternoon Rally at Christie Pits

Thousands of Jewish people and allies from various other communities gathered at Christie Pits Park in Toronto over the weekend to stand in solidarity and call for the release of hostages who remain in Gaza, frequently chanting "Bring Them Home."

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'Unprecedented': Antisemitism in Toronto Has Skyrocketed in the Wake of the Israel-Hamas War

In Toronto, the incidents have included intimidating Jews in their homes, schools and businesses and ripping mezuzahs from their doorposts, scrawling Stars of David soaked in blood at Jewish homes and at least one public school, and protests outside a Jewish community centre.

"This is meant to chill and intimidate in a place we all call home and we all have to live," said FSWC's Michael Levitt. "And for that we rightfully expect our political leaders, our civic leaders to call it out."

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Jewish-Owned Businesses in Montreal Targeted with Antisemitic Profanity

Lists of Jewish-owned businesses in Montreal are being circulated on social media, urging people to boycott restaurants and other establishments. The owner of a chain of local coffee shops told the Montreal Gazette that "last weekend, they put swastikas on the … menus downtown and they wrote 'F— THE JEWS.'"

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Montreal Jewish Community Won't Let Itself Be Terrorized, School Spokesman Says

Students at a Montreal Jewish school returned to class on Monday after their school building was hit by gunfire over the weekend for the second time in three days.

"There’s no doubt that people are concerned, preoccupied by this wave of incidences and crimes, but overall the population and the parent body and the community is not going to allow itself to be terrorized by such acts," said Lionel Perez, spokesperson at Yeshiva Gedola, which resumed classes on Monday after the shooting.

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Red Deer Catholic School Trustee Monique LaGrange ‘Disqualified’ After Post Comparing LGBTQ+ Community to Nazis

The Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools school board has disqualified trustee Monique LaGrange after she violated the board's sanctions and policy as well as the Education Act. The board had put sanctions in place after LaGrange posted an image on social media comparing the LGBTQ+ community to the Nazis - including having LaGrange enroll in sensitivity training about the Holocaust and provide a public letter of apology, and the board completing an educational workshop with FSWC.

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More than 100,000 People March in Paris Against Antisemitism

The protest, called by the leaders of France's two houses of parliament, was prompted by a three-fold increase in the number of antisemitic incidents compared with the whole of 2022 since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

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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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