Antisemitic Vandalism Campaign Launched by Student Group Attempts to Intimidate Toronto's Jewish Community

April 5, 2021

Media Release

Toronto (April 5, 2021) - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) has reached out to the Toronto Police Service Hate Crime Unit following the discovery of a student group's disturbing vandalism campaign targeting the Jewish community.

On Friday, an FSWC staffer spotted graffiti that read "Zionism is a paper tiger!" in the area of Bathurst St. and Cedarcroft Blvd. in Toronto, which has a significant Jewish population. Just like the graffiti that recently appeared at Yonge St. and Finch Ave. - where the words "Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism! Oppose IHRA!" were painted on the wall of a TTC entrance - this one included the initials of the Revolutionary Student Movement, a group that calls itself a “revolutionary, combative, militant, and anti-capitalist student movement.”

FSWC immediately contacted the City of Toronto calling for the immediate removal of the graffiti, and upon further investigation into the group and discovering its deeply concerning graffiti campaign targeting the Jewish community, FSWC reached out to the Toronto Police Hate Crime Unit.

On Twitter, numerous posts by the Greater Toronto Area section of the group reveal a series of graffiti attacks committed over the past week, some of which glorified and suggested violence. Statements included "Smash imperialism and Zionism with people's war!" and "Death to Zionism", among many others.

"We know that acts of hate can escalate and spread when left unchecked," said Michael Levitt, president and CEO of FSWC. "These acts of vandalism are troubling and ominous and clearly an effort to intimidate members of the Jewish community in areas where they live, work and play. We expect this group to be held to account for the property damage it has committed, not to mention for the disturbing antisemitic messages it has promoted.”


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