Toronto
Toronto iStock

Graffiti found near Toronto’s York University campus encouraging people to murder Jews has left Jewish students outraged.

The graffiti was discovered in a garage close to the university’s campus. It consisted of an antisemitic caricature that encouraged people to “shoot a Jew in the head.”

“I was just very caught off guard. I go quite often around these parts, same walk almost every day,” York student Robert Leitner told CP24. “It just kind of was there that one time and really took me aback. It's not something you normally see at this part near campus.”

Leitner, who is Jewish, discovered the threatening message when he walked by the garage on Wednesday. He spoke to a friend and they contacted B’nai Brith Canada with a photo. B’nai Brith spoke to York University who called Toronto police to report the defacement.

The university released a statement: “Many students live in this area close to the Keele Campus. York University denounces this hateful, antisemitic act and reported it to [Toronto Police Service Operations] Hate Crimes Division. The university condemns this antisemitic act and will continue to support the [Toronto Police Service] in any way possible. Supports are available to community members, and direct outreach is underway to Jewish student groups.”

Leitner’s friend Garrett Ryan, who described himself as an observant Jew, told the news outlet that while the graffiti was overt antisemitism, he regularly sees subtle antisemitic messages all over campus, postings that send “the same message that the Jewish population here is meant to feel less than welcome.”