B’nai Brith Canada condemns latest Toronto anti-Semitism

B’nai Brith Canada condemns two incidents of anti-Semitic vandalism in the North York district of Toronto.

Elad Benari ,

Toronto
Toronto
iStock

B’nai Brith Canada on Wednesday condemned two brazen incidents of anti-Semitic vandalism in the North York district of Toronto over the Passover holiday.

On Wednesday, the fourth day of Passover, B’nai Brith was made aware of graffiti on the side of a Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) entrance in the Yonge and Finch area.

The graffiti uses the hashtag “#NoIHRA,” along with a hammer-and-sickle and the letters RSM. TTC staff have since indicated their intention to remove the graffiti.

The RSM, or Revolutionary Student Movement, is a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist group active at the University of Toronto and other Canadian universities. “IHRA” is a reference to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of anti-Semitism, which has been adopted by 30 countries, including Canada, along with the Provinces of Ontario and New Brunswick, and many Canadian municipalities.

B’nai Brith also condemned the vandalism at a TTC bus shelter at Keele Street and Sheppard Avenue, also in North York, with a sign reading, “Isreal’s (sic) Killing Children Again.” That incident occurred on the eve of Passover.

The sign was removed after being flagged by the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre.

Both incidents are under investigation by the Toronto Police Service.

“This incident is an unfortunate reminder that anti-Semitism exists not only on the far-right, but also the far-left,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “The Canadian Jewish community will not be intimidated by thugs and vandals, but will instead continue upholding our right to be free from discrimination, with the IHRA Definition as an important component.”

Anti-Semitic incidents have been on the rise in Canada in recent years. In 2019, the League for Human Rights, part of B’nai Brith Canada, recorded 2,207 anti-Semitic incidents.

On Tuesday, Statistics Canada released its annual survey of police-reported hate crimes which found that Jews have remained by far the most targeted religious group for hate crimes in Canada.

The Statistics Canada report found that there were 1,946 police-reported hate crimes in Canada in 2019, up 7 percent from a year earlier.



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