Toronto City Hall
Toronto City HalliStock

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) on Wednesday said it is deeply disturbed by a recent surge in antisemitic incidents in Toronto.

The statement came a day after the Toronto Police Service notified the public of two incidents that are under investigation, one involving a stolen mezuzah and another consisting of hateful remarks.

The organization noted that other incidents that have taken place across the city involved graffiti depicting the Star of David smeared with red paint to symbolize blood and words such as “Free Palestine” and “Soaked in Blood” above the symbol. Similar graffiti was found at Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute.

This past weekend, an anti-Israel rally targeted Café Landwer, a Jewish-owned restaurant chain, in downtown Toronto, with protesters yelling “boycott” and accusing it of being a “Zionist café.”

Before that, Toronto police three men after threats were directed towards the Jewish high school in the North York district of the city.

These incidents follow the Toronto Police Service reporting a 132 per cent increase in hate crimes since the Israel-Hamas war began.

“This has been a time of great anguish for the Jewish community, which not only continues to grieve the loss of the more than 1,400 Israelis murdered by Hamas terrorists in the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, but is immensely disturbed by the extreme spike in antisemitism online and on our streets,” said FSWC President and CEO Michael Levitt.

“Unfortunately, the rise in antisemitic incidents isn’t a surprise, considering this form of hatred always rears its ugly head in times of conflict and war in the Middle East. The targeting of Jewish people and businesses is pure, unadulterated antisemitism, and it has no place in the City of Toronto or anywhere else in this country,” he added.