Toronto man charged after shouting 'Heil Hitler' at Jews

B'nai Brith Canada complains to police after man accosts participants at Walk with Israel in Toronto.

Ben Ariel ,

Serge Attal/Flash 90

A Toronto man is facing criminal charges after he shouted “Heil Hitler” and accosted participants at a recent Jewish community event.

The man was arrested following a complaint filed by B’nai Brith Canada with the Toronto Police Service, the organization said in a statement on Tuesday.

The incident in question took place on May 20, 2019. The man, Ali Amirsalam, was filmed shouting, “Hitler, please come back and kill all the Jews – not 100%, but 90% of them” outside the 2019 Toronto Walk with Israel hosted by the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) in North York, Ontario.

Amirsalam also made his own recording of his outburst and uploaded a video of it to Twitter, adding an anti-Semitic screed demanding that money be taken away from Jews and “be given to the poorer children of G-d.”

He also posted a video of an Israeli flag being burned, and called for “No more Israel on the planet Earth,” according to B’nai Brith Canada.

Amirsalam has been charged with one count each of uttering threats and causing a disturbance, and was released on his own undertaking with conditions.

“These charges send a clear message: that those who threaten Jews and disrupt Jewish community events will face consequences,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada.

“We thank our friends at Toronto Police Service for their diligence in pursuing this matter,” he added.

Data released by Statistics Canada in July found that Canadian Jews were the most targeted group for hate crimes in 2018, a trend continuing from the previous two years.

In total, police across Canada reported 347 hate crimes targeting Jews in 2018, down marginally from the 2017 figure of 360. However, anti-Jewish hate crimes amounted to 19% of the national total, even though Jews account for only about 1% of the Canadian population.

The report was consistent with B’nai Brith’s 2018 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents. The Audit found an overall increase in the number of incidents in 2018, but a slight decrease in cases of vandalism and violence, which are more likely to be recorded by police as hate crimes than cases of harassment.