Once Again… Hate Hoaxers CAUGHT Staging Swastikas, Nazi Graffiti In Canada
Smollet Syndrome has now spread to Winnipeg, Canada, where restaurant owners are now being accused of vandalizing their own business with swastikas and pro-nazi graffiti after reporting that they had been targets of a hate group.
They even alleged a physical assault took place in their cafe. After the community initially rushed to rally around the restaurant, police are now saying that it’s all a hoax.
An anti-Semitic attack originally called “the most brazen” the city had seen was staged by the owners of the restaurant that reported it, Winnipeg police say.
All three members of the family that owns BerMax Caffé and Bistro on Corydon Avenue have been arrested and charged with public mischief since the incident was initially reported last week. The family, however, insists they didn’t fake anything.
“We didn‘t, because we don’t joke about swastikas on our walls,” OxanaBerent said in an interview with Ismaila Alfa, host of CBC Manitoba’s afternoon radio show, Up to Speed.
On Thursday evening, police responded to a report of an assault at the restaurant. A woman said she’d been assaulted, and the restaurant was spray-painted with hateful graffiti, police said.
Winnipeg police Chief Danny Smyth said Wednesday the attack was staged.
“The anti-Semitic graffiti and vandalism were also falsely reported as being done by outside suspects,” Smyth said.
“We found evidence of a crime. It just wasn’t a hate crime,” said Smyth, adding the police expended considerable resources investigating and took the report seriously.
Smyth said he is disappointed by the alleged staging and fears it will promote cynicism. The incident took place the night before the start of Passover, a significant Jewish holiday.
Alexander Berent, 56, Oxana Berent, 48, and Maxim Berent, 29, have all been charged with public mischief and were released after being arrested, police say. They are slated to appear in court in May.
In a written statement Wednesday afternoon, the Jewish Federation said:
“We are shocked and deeply disturbed by today’s news. It is deplorable that anyone would make false allegations of anti-Semitism, especially claims of such a serious nature, for any kind of gain.
“False complaints of criminal acts of anti-Semitism are not only illegal, they undermine the important work necessary to counter anti-Semitism and hate in all forms.
“We reiterate our appreciation of the work of the Winnipeg Police Service and their continued support for the Jewish community.”
Staging a hate crime is particularly upsetting to the Chief of Police, Danny Smyth, who is angry at the false allegations. He says falsely reporting a hate crime trivializes the trauma that real victims endure.
“On behalf of B’nai Brith Canada, I would like to convey how shocked and disturbed we were to learn that police concluded Wednesday the recent attack at BerMax Caffé in Winnipeg, initially described as antisemitic, was staged,” wrote B’nai Brith Canada National Director Ran Ukashi in an emailed statement.
“Making false allegations of antisemitism does nothing to quell the rise of racism and discrimination in Winnipeg and across Canada and will embolden the conspiracy theorists and purveyors of anti-Jewish hatred who blame the entirety of society’s ills on the Jewish community. Moreover, it harms the efforts of human rights organizations such as B’nai Brith Canada to combat instances of bigotry whenever it rears its head.”
Ukashi goes on to say this incident should not deter anyone from fighting against discrimination in all forms.