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Saskatchewan to require Holocaust ed, German police raid homes, Susan Sarandon takes aim at Jews

Antisemitism roundup, Nov. 20-21

Susan Sarandon at the Hotel Excelsior in Venice, Italy in 2017. Credit: Matteo Chinellato/Shutterstock.
Susan Sarandon at the Hotel Excelsior in Venice, Italy in 2017. Credit: Matteo Chinellato/Shutterstock.

The Canadian province of Saskatchewan plans to make high school Holocaust education compulsory, beginning in 2025. Marvin Rotrand, national director of B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights, called it an “important step toward armoring Saskatchewan youth against Holocaust denial and distortion.” (Protesters calling for a Gaza ceasefire interrupted a session of the Saskatchewan legislature on Monday.)

Sixteen scholars published an “open letter on the misuse of Holocaust memory” in The New York Review of Books. They charged that U.S. President Joe Biden, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan and others have improperly invoked “Holocaust memory to explain the current crisis in Gaza and Israel.” (Many have noted that Oct. 7 was the bloodiest day for Jews since World War II and the Holocaust.)

After Florida state lawmaker Randy Fine, who is Jewish, called on the University of Florida to fire a professor who compared Israel to Nazis on social media, Ben Sasse, the university president, responded that the professor hasn’t worked for the university in years. Sasse called Fine’s charge “exaggerating on social media and sharing too-good-to-be-checked clickbait that he knows isn’t true.”

Bavarian police raided the homes of 17 Germans—15 men and two women, ages 18 to 62—who allegedly posted antisemitic materials on social media. Officers interviewed the suspects and confiscated cell phones and computers.

The superintendent of the Indianola public-school system in Iowa apologized after a quote attributed to the Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler—”My honor is my loyalty”—was included in an announcement and titled “respect quote of the day.” A staffer “did not realize that the quote was from a highly inappropriate source,” the superintendent said.

Elon Musk, who owns the social-media platform X, is suing Media Matters over the latter’s claim that he is antisemitic. “Media Matters knowingly and maliciously manufactured side-by-side images depicting advertisers’ posts on X Corp’s social-media platform beside neo-Nazi and white-nationalist fringe content and then portrayed these manufactured images as if they were what typical X users experience on the platform,” per the suit.

Susan Sarandon, the 77-year-old Oscar-winning actress, said that Jews “are getting a taste of what it feels like to be Muslim” in the war against the Hamas terrorist organization. (Sarandon, who has supported antisemitic Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, did not note the “riots, arrests, restrictions, confiscation of property, discrimination” and revocation of citizenship that led to “the mass migration of the Jews of the Islamic countries.”)

“Since this tragedy in Israel happened on Oct. 7, only two of my many non-Jewish friends reached out to me to see if I was OK, and let me know they were thinking of me after hearing that more than 1,200 Jews were killed,” actress Julianna Margulies wrote in USA Today.

Ye (Kanye West) shared “Vultures,” the first track of his upcoming album, which suggested he isn’t antisemitic because he slept with a Jewish woman (using a derogatory word for the latter). The rapper has long faced accusations of antisemitism.

A member of the Maryland State Commission on Hate Crime Response and Prevention faces criticism of antisemitism, Zainab Chaudry, who directs the state’s Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) branch, posted online “praise for Hamas terrorists, compared Israel to Nazi Germany and called the wide swath of Jewish Americans who attended last week’s March for Israel in Washington ‘genocide sympathizers,’” Jewish Insider reported.

Calgary police arrested four people at pro-Israel and anti-Israel gatherings over the weekend. Canadian reports did not say if those arrested were rallying for or against Israel, but the names were released: Wassime Taha, 30; Wafik Kassem, 25; and Mohamed Hamdanie, 25—each for a count of assaulting a peace officer—and Mervat Hamdanie, 27, for obstruction of a peace officer.

Protesters in Winnipeg told local media they aimed to “block the movements of Israeli goods” on Canadian rail lines.

Austrians are divided over what to do with the apartment in the town of Braunau am Inn where Adolf Hitler was born.

Braunau am Inn
The city center of Braunau am Inn. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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