B’nai Brith Canada reports three anti-Semitic incidents that marred Rosh Hashanah observances in the province of Ontario this past weekend.
The trouble began just before the holiday started, when a man accosted a Jewish father and son outside a synagogue in Thornhill, a community north of Toronto with Canada’s largest concentration of Jewish residents.
The man yelled, according to a statement by B’nai Brith, “You’re a piece of s**, you’re Jewish – you run the f***in world,” before approaching the victim’s car and attempting to stick his hand inside.
The victim filmed the latter part of the incident, and asked B’nai Brith to share it widely to help identify the perpetrator.
Two days later, as the holiday was ending, two private garage doors, also in Thornhill, were defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti reading “Jews Run the World” and “Jews Hate Blacks.” A nearby vehicle was also vandalized.
Meanwhile, in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, a prominent member of the local Jewish community reported that while praying at an outdoor service on Saturday, a man drove by, spat at worshippers and called them “dirty f***ing Jews.”
“These appalling incidents have struck a chord with the Jewish community at what is already a challenging time for many,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada.
“We call on anyone else who has been victimized to come forward and report such incidents to us and local police, to help ensure that the perpetrators face consequences,” he added.
Anti-Semitic incidents have been on the rise in Canada in recent years. In April, the League for Human Rights, part of B’nai Brith Canada, said it recorded 2,207 anti-Semitic incidents in its 2019 Annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents.
The number marks an 8% increase over the 2,041 incidents from the previous year and an average of more than six per day.
Ontario had the greatest increase and Quebec saw the largest number of incidents for the second year in a row. Ontario and Quebec are home to the largest Jewish communities in Canada.
In April, a spate of anti-Semitic graffiti in the downtown Toronto area appeared to blame the COVID-19 pandemic on “the Jews.”
That month, a Judaica store in Toronto that had been closed due to the coronavirus outbreak was broken into and vandalized.