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Thread: Family cafe owners are charged over hate crime hoax for 'staging the "most violent and vicious" Anti-Semitic attack on their own business'

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    The lion's gate Chlodovech's Avatar
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    Family cafe owners are charged over hate crime hoax for 'staging the "most violent and vicious" Anti-Semitic attack on their own business'

    Source: DailyMail

    BerMax Caffé owners Alexander Berent, 56, Oxana Berent, 48, and Maxim Berent, 29, have all been charged with public mischief
    They told Canadian cops swastikas had been drawn on the walls of their cafe
    Police called it one of the 'worst' hate crimes after it was reported last Thursday
    And the incident was dubbed 'the most brazen' Winnipeg had ever seen
    But officers now say the attack was staged and arrested the parents and son
    A motive for staging the incident has not been disclosed by police
    'We don't joke about swastikas on our walls', Oxana says, denying it was staged
    Since emerged the family reported a similar hate crime the previous month



    Three business owners from the same family have been charged with an alleged hate crime hoax after police say they staged the 'most violent and vicious' Anti-Semitic attack on their own cafe.

    Alexander Berent, 56, Oxana Berent, 48, and Maxim Berent, 29, have all been charged with public mischief after telling Canadian officers swastikas had been drawn on the walls of their restaurant.

    The incident was dubbed 'the most brazen' Winnipeg had ever seen after the three BerMax Caffé owners said one of them was assaulted during the incident.

    Police called it one of the 'worst' hate crimes after it reported last Thursday, the night before the start of Passover.

    A motive for staging the incident has not been disclosed by police but The Winnipeg Sun reports that the owners had tried to sell the business.

    And it is understood the family reported a similar hate crime the previous month but law enforcement would not confirm whether they believe that too was staged.

    But the family strongly deny staging the attack last week. Oxana told CBC: 'We didn't, because we don't joke about swastikas on our walls.'

    She added: 'My grandmother's family, they died in the Holocaust. Just her and her little brother survived, the whole family. We don't joke about that.'

    Maxim Berent said: 'We didn't do it. We had no reason to do it. This is not good for our Jewish community, this is not good for us.'

    Oxana had said she was alone in the cafe when she was assaulted. She said somebody grabbed her and she fainted before waking up in hospital.

    Winnipeg police Chief Danny Smyth said the attack was staged a week after it was reported. He said: 'We found evidence of a crime. It just wasn't a hate crime.'

    He added: 'I am hugely disappointed and, frankly, angry that this family has used hate and racism in such a disingenuous way.

    'In doing so, they have allowed cynicism to creep into this discussion. Cynicism that trivializes genuine victims of hate.

    'Cynicism that risks reinforcing stereotypes that the Jewish community here locally, and throughout the world, have fought hard to dispel.

    'Over 25 officers have invested nearly 1,000 hours through a busy holiday weekend trying to bring this investigation to a close.'

    He said surveillance footage, forensic evidence and interviews led to the arrests.

    After reports of the alleged hate crime surfaced Belle Jarniewski, executive director of the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada said: 'I think that the attack on the BerMax Caffe is the most violent and vicious anti-Semitic attack [in Winnipeg] and certainly in recent memory.'

    The Jewish Federation of Winnipeg had called it 'the most brazen act of anti-Semitism that we've seen in our community, and perhaps ever'.

    Following the Berent's arrest they 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.'

    A planned vigil by a local church to support the family has since been cancelled.

    The incident comes in the wake of the case against actor Jussie Smollet in Chicago.

    Police say he paid Abel and Ola Osundairo to beat him in what he then described as a racist, homophobic attack by two Trump-loving perpetrators. He has always maintained his innocence and insisted he was attacked.

    That case was suddenly and unexpectedly dropped last month by the State's Attorney's Office.
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    It will be interesting to see what punishment they receive for this.

    I somehow doubt it will have much of a dissuasive effect.

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