Category: BUZZ

Rise of Antisemitism in Canada

Global News Interviews B’nai Brith Canada CEO on Antisemitism

Hate crime complaints have been made to multiple Ontario police departments against a Toronto teenager, over the antisemitic and racist videos she posted on social media site, YouTube. Veronica Bouchard, 19, who is known to users as Veronica Evalion has attained a large following.

Global News Toronto Senior Reporter Christina Stevens spoke with B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn on the matter.

Swastikas, Racist Graffiti in Ottawa Third Attack in Week

Swastikas, racist graffiti in third Ottawa anti-Jewish attack in a week

Ottawa’s Jewish community was hit hard by the third anti-Semitic attack of the week, when worshippers at Alta Vista arrived early Thursday to find swastikas and white-nationalist hate messages spray-painted on their synagogue.

Congregation Machzikei Hadas was defaced overnight with red swastikas on its front doors and slurs , including one that encouraged murder and to “save the white race.” Ottawa police are investigating the attack.

Rabbi Reuven Bulka, leader at the synagogue denounced the vandalism but downplayed its significance.

“This was a diabolical act by some crazy nut,” Bulka said. “A fellow came intending to do evil and did it. The Ottawa community, all of the religious leaders, we all work together. It’s a very integrated community. All of the communities have called to express their outrage.”

B’nai Brith Canada on Antisemitic Hate Crimes in February

CTV News Winnipeg’s Emad Agahi speaks to Amanda Hohmann, National Director of B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights to discuss a series hate crimes that occurred in Winnipeg and Montreal during the month of February, 2017.

Source: CTV News, Global News

By: Michael Schwartz

Bomb Threats at Jewish Community Centers Across U.S.

Bomb Threats Target Jewish community Centers Across the U.S.

A JCC in Florida was the scene of a bomb threat earlier, polic found no explosives in the building and cleared the scheme as a hoax. Later, a community Chabad center in Orlando also received a threatening call, marking the first of many antisemitic bomb threats across the U.S.

In total, 54 JCCs in 27 states and one Canadian province received nearly 60 bomb threats during January, according to the JCCA, an association of JCCs. Most were made in rapid succession on three days; January 9, 18 and 31. Several reported receiving multiple threats.

Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter, whose husband, Jared Kushner is Jewish and a senior adviser to ethe President tweeted: “America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance. We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers.”

Jewish Community Centers Targeted With Bomb Threats Across The East Coast

In the continuing wave of oncoming threats to Jewish Community Centers across the States, CBS reports.

Source: CBS News

By: Michael Schwartz

New Yorkers Band Together to Remove Swastikas on Subway

Several New Yorkers banded together to combat hatred on the local subway.

Gregory Locke said he was on the a train heading towards 72nd Street on Saturday night when he found a swastika on every advertisement and every window.

Locke reported the silence of people on the train was silent, who were unsure what to do.

One man used hand sanitizer to remove the drawings in permanent marker, soon after local passerby joined in and got to work.

“I’ve never seen so many people simultaneously reach into their bags and pockets looking for tissues and Purell. Within about two minutes all the Nazi symbolism was gone,” Locke added.

Source: Facebook; CBS News

By: Michael Schwartz


Yolocaust: Selfie Culture and the Holocaust

Holocaust + Selfie Culture = ‘Yolocaust’

Shahak Shapira, an Israeli artist who settled in Berlin, Germany launched a project which he called “Yolocaust” that explores modern culture. It has become a popular fad to take ‘selfie’ images alongside memorials. Shapira turned this fad into an eye-opening, shocking exhibit by combining selfies from the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin and placing the footage against the backdrop of Nazi extermination camps, as they were pictured during the Holocaust. The selfies were found on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Tinder and Grindr. Comments, hashtags and “Likes” were posted alongside the ‘selfie’ images.

Shapira’s page was visited by over 2.5 million people. The project reached 12 people whose selfies were presented. Almost all of them understood the message, apologized and decided to remove their selfies from their personal Facebook and Instagram accounts. Shapira also received plenty of positive feedback from Holocaust researchers, memorial workers, and survivors, who wanted to use his project for school lessons.

Auschwitz Selfie Girl Interview

After studying the Holocaust with her father, Breanna traveled to Poland and took a smiling picture of herself while touring the horrific concentration camp. The image gained attention on Twitter, with angry responses criticizing her lack of respect. Despite all of the negative attention, Breanna has no regrets about the image she posted.

By: Michael Schwartz

International Holocaust Memorial Day 2017

Nazi Germany tried to eradicate Europe’s Jewish population in the Holocaust.

Millions died. Today, the world remembers them and the other persecuted minorities who perished on the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
Sephardic Communities That were Affected by the Holocaust

This year, the students of the ISCA (Israeli Students Combatting Anti-Semitism) program decided to highlight the Sephardic communities [i.e. Jews who came from Muslim countries] that were affected by the Holocaust. They are silent survivors, with stories we do not usually know and could not fathom that the war had reached their homes. We include their testimonies here.

Three testimonies, three stories. The Jews of Salonika, a Sephardic community who were decimated by the Nazis’ horrors. The history of Tunisian Jews, discriminated, abused and deported to the death camps in Europe. This is the story of the Sephardic Jews, who were deported and awaited the “final solution.”

May the memory of those recalled in this video, but also that of the six million Jews murdered by their Nazi tormentors, be blessed.

In commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we brought you a quick view from the perspective of a little girl at the time.

We remember, never again!!

By: Michael Schwartz


Iran and the Holocaust

Abdolhossein Sadari: An Iranian Hero of the Holocaust

Holocaust denial by Iranian officials, especially by the Supreme Leader, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei has presented a negative image of Iran around the world, overshadowing the important role played by Iranians in helping the victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

Starting in 1942, Iran accepted over 116,000 Polish refugees some of them Jews, who fled German and Soviet occupation. Abdolhossein Sadari, an Iranian diplomat living in Paris issued many passports to Iranian and non-Iranian Jews in the hopes of protecting them from Nazi persecution. Watch this film to learn more about Iran’s legacy and the Holocaust.

The Children of Tehran

This is the story of the rescue of 700 children from occupied Poland and their grueling journey to Palestine in the winter of 1943. This unprecedented operation took several children, many without their parents, on a difficult journey that led them to distant lands, including Tehran, before they arrived safely in Palestine. For the Jewish settlement, the “Children of Tehran” were the first survivors of the Holocaust who attested to the horrors of war-torn Europe.

In the movie, these children, now in their seventies relive their past memories. They retrace their escape route from Poland to Russia, their life in Siberia and in Uzbekistan, their journey to Tehran, where they were discovered by emissaries of the Jewish Agency, and finally their heroic rescue through the Indian Ocean, to the Suez Canal and the final journey by train to the Land of Israel.

By: Michael Schwartz



The Rise of Anti-Semitism in 2016

The Rise of anti-Semitism – An UpFront Special

It’s been called the world’s oldest hatred. In back-to-back debates in this UpFront special, we discuss anti-Semitism.

In the first debate, a panel explores the rise or return of anti-Semitism among the far right, and questions whether the 2016 elections and President Trump’s victory has emboldened these attitudes.

In the second debate, we discuss anti-Semitism among the left, and the duality of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

Anti-Semitism on the Political Right

Since Donald Trump’s election victory in November, anti-Semitic attacks have been on the rise in the U.S. with swastikas and other Nazi imagery popping up everywhere.

Has much has anti-Semitic activity been spurred by Trump’s win?

“It’s not so much that this anti-Semitism didn’t exist before; it probably did exist but it was under the radar,” says Haaretz senior columnist Chemi Shalev. “The candidacy of Donald Trump brought forth or emboldened all sorts of anti-Semitic and anti-Jewish groups who nobody paid attention to any more.”

Hadas Gold, a media reporter for Politico magazine, says: “Some of my colleagues got actual letters to their personal addresses at home – it was rather frightening. I mean, it’s never pleasant to see your face with a bullet hole through it. These direct threats were something new, and they were almost always directly connected to Donald Trump.”

In the first part of this UpFront special, Chemi Shalev and Hadas Gold discuss the troubling resurgence of anti-Semitism among the hard right.

Part 2: Anti-Semitism on the Political Left

With anti-Semitism on the rise across parts of Europe, is it something the left and Palestinian supporters need to urgently tackle, or is anti-Semitism being used and abused by supporters of Israel?

“Just because sometimes not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish, doesn’t mean that it never is,” says Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland, who also writes for The Jewish Chronicle. “Sometimes it is, the way it’s expressed. If it borrows from or draws on the language or imagery of old style anti-Jewish prejudice, then it is.”

Israeli-Canadian Lisa Goldman, Co-founder of the left-wing Israeli journal 972, says: “I do see it on the rise in Europe on the left, but the crude anti-Semitism I’m seeing comes from the radical right.”

Palestinian-American human rights lawyer Noura Erakat says: “I think that obviously there is a misunderstanding that’s constructed. But at the end of the day, those who are part of a movement against Zionism are part of a liberator movement not only for Palestinians, but it has an emancipator potential for Jewish people as well.”

In the second part of this UpFront special, Jonathan Freedland, Lisa Goldman and Noura Erakat debate anti-Semitism among the political left.

By: Michael Schwartz

Holocaust Survivors’ Takes on Current Events

A Holocaust Survivor’s Take on the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Holocaust survivor Fredy Seidel discusses his thoughts about the Syrian Refugee Crisis and how he feels the global response echos that of the worldwide response to the Holocaust.

Things We Can Learn From Holocaust Survivors

There are around 500,000 Holocaust survivors alive today, roughly about 100,000 of them live in the U.S. As they get older, the world risks losing their stories. Holocaust survivors are living reminders of the horrors of genocide, and reminders that history cannot repeat itself. Thanks to oral histories, many of their stories have been logged for future generations.

What can we learn from them today? In order to understand how their experiences shaped their worldviews and to offer some perspective on current events, we spoke with five survivors living in Los Angeles, California.

By: Michael Schwartz

Jews Targeted in Whitefish, Montana

Neo Nazis, White Supremacists Target Jewish residents in Montana

A white supremacist call to “troll” Jewish people in Whitefish, Montana  gain3e support on social media and put lives of local Jews in danger.

Andrew Anglin of the Neo-Nazi website, The Daily Stormer published an inflammatory article calling for “action” against Jews, whom Anglin believes are “targeting [prominent Neo-Nazi] Richard Spencer’s mother,” and claiming that her real estate business is failing apart because of public backlash against her son. Spencer is a well-known white supremacist and prominent member of the National Policy Institute (NPI) who coined the term “alt-right,” a far right-wing group.

Anglin called on readers to harass Jews, describing them as a “vicious, evil race of hate-filled psychopaths” and “a people without shame.”

A Close-up of Whitefish’s most Infamous Resident

Gary Tuchman visits Whitefish, Montana to learn about its most infamous resident, white supremacist leader, Richard Spencer.

By: Michael Schwartz

French Jews Fear Growing Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism in Lyon, France

‘Lyon in particular has never been a good place for Jews, but hasn’t been so bad for a long time’. Historian Andrew Hussey reports from Lyon, France on the rise of anti-semitism and Islamophobia.

After the Charlie Hebdo Massacre Jewish Families Afraid to Stay in France

Following the brutal attacks on the popular French magazine’s haedquarter’s and staff at Charlie Hebdo, unity was felt across the the French capital. However, some Jewish families still fear staying in Paris in the wake of the terrorist attack on a kosher supermarket two years prior.

Why 10,000 French Jews Will Move to Israel This Year

How has France’s Jewish community changed since World War II? Why are thousands of French Jews now emigrating to Israel? WSJ’s Jason Bellini has an answer.

By: Michael Schwartz