FSWC Calls for Police Investigation Into Antisemitic, Racist Attack During Green Party Debate

July 22, 2020

Statement

Toronto (July 22, 2020) - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) learned today that a hate incident that occurred during the Green Party of Canada’s online leadership debate last night is being reported to RCMP. FSWC is calling on the RCMP to pursue an intensive investigation into the incident to find the perpetrators and lay appropriate charges.

According to Green Party leadership candidate Annamie Paul, the Zoom debate was interrupted by individuals who posted racist and antisemitic slurs such as "N****r" and "F**king Jew" over chat. Paul, who is both Black and Jewish, has been the target of extensive antisemitic harassment and attacks that have been directed at her online since the beginning of her campaign.

"This is a gross attack on the democratic process and the values that Canadians hold dear. Regardless of political affiliation, all Canadians must speak out against such a disgusting example of antisemitism and racism," said Jaime Kirzner-Roberts, Director of FSWC's Campaign Against Antisemitism. "We commend Annamie Paul for speaking out against this attack and call on the RCMP to thoroughly investigate this incident to identify the perpetrators and send a message that such hatred will not be tolerated and people cannot get away with hiding behind an online identity."

"We are seeing an immense increase in online hate, particularly as haters abuse social media to spew their poison and vitriol. Online platforms have a responsibility to make a serious and focused commitment to police against the hate that is proliferating on their sites," said Rabbi Meyer May, Executive Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. "It's important for groups hosting meetings and events on platforms, such as Zoom, to enforce the necessary security measures to ensure that hateful attacks such as Zoom-bombings are averted."

The Green Party's executive director tweeted last night that the party launched an investigation into the incident and reported it to Zoom.

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