profile image

Avi Benlolo

President and CEO, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, Canada

Avi Benlolo is a prominent Canadian human rights activist who is President and Chief Executive Officer of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC).

He was appointed to this role in 2000 to restructure, re-energize and re-develop the organization; since that time he has devoted his extensive fundraising, educational advocacy and leadership talents to successfully elevating the profile of the organization and revitalizing its presence across Canada.
Getty

Deconstructing Oxfam's Israel Hysteria

Criticism of Israel by organizations like Oxfam has reached a fevered pitch; the unparalleled hysteria is all the more apparent when cross-referenced with truly horrific and tragic world events which fail to garner similar attention. The irrational intent of this anti-Israel mania undermines humanitarian and peacemaking objectives.
02/06/2014 09:37 EST
AP

Iran Needs to Rethink Its Nuclear Policy

And as we strive to enter the commonwealth of civilized nations, perhaps it is high time we rethink our policies of arming Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon and smuggling weapons to Hamas in Gaza, which poses a threat to Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.
09/20/2013 05:33 EDT

A Legal Test for Hate Speech in Canada

If a Canadian incites hatred against an identifiable group in public and advocates murder or genocide, does that constitute a hate crime? If the incitement is against, for example, the gay, black or aboriginal community should criminal charges be laid? What if the incitement is against the Jewish community, is there a difference?
08/29/2013 05:33 EDT

Ontario Says "No" to Ideology of Hate

This week marked an important turning point in Ontario's awareness of determined and well-funded efforts to undermine the values and conceptual underpinnings of Canadian society by groups hoping to import a toxic and foreign ideology to our nation. Nowhere was this effort more evident than the staging of the "Al Quds Day" rally, held for the past two years on the grounds of Queen's Park. Supporters of a genocidal theocracy which aims to fundamentally reshape western democracies by exporting the values of Shariah law should not and do not have to receive the blessing of the state to exercise this right. The fundamental values cherished by all Canadians must not be discarded so cavalierly, with the acquiescence of our government and the permission of our laws.
08/02/2013 05:40 EDT
Getty Images

Hotbed of Hatred

Rock throwing. Beatings. Bullets. Shouts of "F----ing kike." Ambushes. Theft. Threats. Tear gas attacks. This is not history. This is today. The French Jewish community expects and deserves a far greater degree of respect, as well as a strategic response to the blatant anti-Semitism they are experiencing.
02/21/2013 05:31 EST
YouTube

Karen Klein Is the Rosa Parks of Bullying

As has been widely reported in the past 24 hours, 68-year-old bus monitor Karen Klein suffered a malicious verbal attack by a group of grade seven students on a school bus. Klein's refusal to interact with the bullies may yet become a wake-up call for society -- in much the same way Rosa Parks' refusal to move to the back of the bus was at the dawn of the civil rights movement.
06/23/2012 10:08 EDT
AP

Mess With Israel and You're Messing With Canada

Wednesday's revelation of Peter MacKay's support for the state of Israel demonstrates the strength of this principle of friendship among nations. His statement that a threat to Israel is a threat to Canada was a powerful declaration to a friend -- and to the world -- that Canada can be counted on.
06/21/2012 11:19 EDT

The Younger, The Wiser

Young people really do know it all. They are optimistic, enthusiastic and passionate about making the world a better place. Their reflections were magical at the first annual Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center's Speakers Idol.
04/29/2012 12:07 EDT

Could the Internet Have Stopped the Holocaust?

Thursday is Holocaust Remembrance Day. While governments knew about the Holocaust, many kept the details hidden from their citizens. Had the digital age existed and had enough individuals been encouraged by mass social activism, one hopes the outcome would have been different.
04/19/2012 07:45 EDT
Getty/AP

The Anti-Semitic Shooting is Our Problem, Too

Today's slaughter of the Rabbi and children in France should be a wake-up call for all individuals and institutions who have yet to take modern expressions of antisemitism seriously. It was an attack on the heart and soul of the Jewish community in France reverberating around the world.
03/19/2012 03:01 EDT

The Jihad Next Door

The universities profess to be the guardians of free speech but are aiding and abetting the increasingly toxic environment on campuses by providing public space to speakers who are divisive and hateful.
02/02/2012 09:41 EST
alamy

Lemire's Right to Free Speech Vs. Ours

The question of Section 13 of Canada's Human Rights Act (CHRA) dealing with hate speech has come to a head over the case of Marc Lemire, who was the last president of the neo-Nazi white supremacist group, Heritage Front, and is now a webmaster of a controversial site created in the name of free speech.
01/10/2012 10:48 EST
AP

What Stops the World From Taking Out Assad?

Since Syrian crimes can be classified as "crimes against humanity" especially because they are state policy, why has Right to Protect not been invoked by the international community nor has reasonable action been undertaken by the Security Council and the ICC? The answer is simple: politics and personal interest. Without exception, it is believed that the atrocities committed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his regime are far worse than those of Muammar Gaddafi. The UN estimates more than 3,500 people have been murdered; tens of thousands have vanished and are believed to be incarcerated.
11/15/2011 01:36 EST
AP

Israel Shakes Hands With the Devil

Many Israelis are asking themselves how they could release so many Palestinians who carried out or were involved in violent terrorist activities. Would they return with a renewed vengeance? Will the release of one Israeli soldier result in future Israeli civilian and military casualties? Will more Israeli soldiers be kidnapped?
10/17/2011 09:38 EDT
AP

Jewish Resolve: Drawing Strength from Yom Kippur

Like Yom Kippur of 1973, we are in an emergency situation. While Israel's enemies continue to plan war against the state or fund terrorism from a distance, others are warring against Israel from across continents.
10/07/2011 09:02 EDT
PA

Abbas Misses Another Opportunity

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas missed an opportunity to gain the confidence of Israel and international Jewry by recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. Instead, Abbas achieved the exact opposite. He took every opportunity to defame Israel and label it a criminal state on the world stage.
09/23/2011 04:58 EDT
Getty

Canada Gets Tough on Anti-Semitsim

In announcing the Ottawa Protocol to Combat Anti-Semitism, Foreign Minister John Baird expressed Canada's unequivocal support for the State of Israel. Canada's stance on Israel is based on the principle of standing by your friends -- especially when they are democracies and advocates for human rights.
09/21/2011 10:12 EDT
Getty

Will the Palestinians Accept Their Own State?

The Palestinians, Avigdor Lieberman said, have rebuffed every offer given to them for an independent state, and like many Israelis, Lieberman believes that everything has been tried and that Israel must "change its concept entirely." What that concept might be will depend on what happens at the UN this week.
09/18/2011 11:59 EDT