Community Intelligence Brief: November 15, 2023

November 15, 2023


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Latest News

Release of 50 Abducted Women, Children to Begin 10 a.m. Thursday – Israeli Official

The release of some 50 Israeli women and children who have been held hostage in Gaza for more than six weeks is set to begin tomorrow morning, in exchange for the release of 150 Palestinians from Israeli jails. The release of hostages is part of an agreement Israel and Hamas have reached, which includes a temporary ceasefire.

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Saskatchewan and Manitoba Announce Mandatory Holocaust Education

In a statement issued on Monday, the Saskatchewan government said Holocaust education will be a compulsory component of its renewed Grade 10 social studies curriculum, effective with the 2025-26 school year. A day later, during its first throne speech, Manitoba's NDP government announced its commitment to mandate Holocaust education in schools. They follow in the footsteps of the Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia governments which have announced mandatory learning on the Holocaust.

Yesterday, FSWC's Director of the Tour for Humanity, Daniella Lurion, spoke with CBC Radio's The Afternoon Edition in Saskatchewan to discuss why Holocaust education is necessary and offered input on what the new curriculum in the province should include.


Advocacy Organization Calls on Queen's University to Address Instances of Antisemitism

Yesterday, FSWC wrote to the Queen's University administration calling on it to tackle the extreme rise in antisemitism on campus and take action to protect the safety of Jewish students. This comes after the Jewish student group Hillel reported a disturbing surge in antisemitic incidents on campus, including antisemitic graffiti and mezuzahs ripped from residence doors.

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Canada Criminalized 'Condoning, Denying or Downplaying' the Holocaust: Is It Working?

Canadian Jewish groups are calling on the Canadian government to remove barriers to enforcing a Criminal Code provision against Holocaust denial amid a rise in antisemitism. FSWC Director of Allyship and Community Engagement Dan Panneton says it is easy to find Holocaust denial "in more extreme communities online," adding that this underscores what he considers "largely a blind spot towards online hateful spaces with law enforcement."

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Nazi Salutes and Swastikas in Toronto Schools Leave Jewish Students Feeling Unsafe

A letter signed by more than 2,000 parents and addressed to Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce and senior staff and trustees at the Toronto District School Board demands immediate action amid escalating incidents of antisemitism. The letter states there has been a number of antisemitic incidents at schools, including "children performing Nazi salutes, drawing swastikas on bus windows, vandalizing bathrooms with antisemitic graffiti, Jewish stars being put on the desks of Jewish students to identify them."

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Woman Accused of Hate-Motivated Vandalism at Starbucks

A 25-year-old woman has been arrested and charged with mischief by the Toronto Police Service after a Starbucks in the area of Eglinton Ave. W. and Bathurst St. was found vandalized last week with "Blood on Your Hands," "Starbucks Kills" and other graffiti in connection with Israel. The woman had repeatedly taken to TikTok to brag about vandalizing the coffee shop, declaring she's "fighting for justice."

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'I Support Hamas': Durham College Condemns Alleged Student Who Posts Video Saying 'I Would Love It if They Would Do It Again and Again...'

An alleged Durham College student has been reported to Durham police after posting a video in which she praises Hamas and states, "they're not terrorists" and that she'd "love it if they would do it again and again and again...." Durham College issued a statement denouncing the woman's statements and said it "does not tolerate antisemitism... or promotion of acts of violence."

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University of Alberta Fires Sexual Assault Centre Head Who Signed Letter Calling Hamas Rape Reports 'Unverified Accusation'

The University of Alberta has fired the director of its Sexual Assault Centre after she signed an open letter, using the Centre's name, calling reports of sexual violence during Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel an “unverified accusation.” In a statement issued by the university on Saturday, President Bill Flanagan said the use of the university's name was "unauthorized" and called the incident “profoundly hurtful.”

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The Head of Toronto’s TanenbaumCHAT Addressed a Bomb Threat That Led to Evacuation of the Jewish High School

Toronto’s largest Jewish high school, TanenbaumCHAT, was evacuated last week after an email warned of "multiple bombs" and that “many Jews will die today.” Toronto police launched a hate crime investigation, later reporting that no explosives were found.

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Mosque Attack Victims Shaken After Hate-Motivated Assaults Lead to Toronto Man's Arrest

A Toronto man was arrested on Saturday in connection with multiple hate-motivated incidents targeting the Muslim community. Incidents included a cab driver and woman wearing a hijab sprayed with an unknown substance and worshippers at a mosque attacked with a rock and bike chain while the perpetrator yelled slurs.

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'Harrowing and Heartbreaking': Liberal, Conservative MPs Show Solidarity with Israel

A bipartisan group of Canadian MPs - Anthony Housefather, Melissa Lantsman, Marco Mendicino, Marty Morantz and Michelle Rempel Garner - have been in Israel to show solidarity with the country, meeting with Israeli counterparts, survivors of the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack and families of hostages who remain in Gaza.

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German Police Raid Homes of 17 People Accused of Posting Antisemitic Hate Speech on Social Media

German authorities on Tuesday raided the homes of 17 people in the state of Bavaria - including 15 men and two women between the ages of 18 and 62 - accused of spreading antisemitic hate speech and threats targeting Jews online. The suspects were said to have celebrated the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas and were accused of spreading hate speech against Jewish people on social media.

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Questions that Won’t Go Away

"Amid the somber, new/old reality plaguing Israel and Diaspora Jews following Hamas’s soul-crushing atrocities of Oct. 7, many troubling questions persist," writes FSWC Senior Writer and Editor Robert Sarner. "Some answers are more straightforward than others but collectively, they paint a disturbing picture that we ignore at our peril."

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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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