GTA Hit with Wave of Antisemitic Vandalism

August 19, 2021

Media Release

Toronto (August 19, 2021) - A synagogue in midtown Toronto was defaced with graffiti yesterday in what has been a wave of antisemitic vandalism across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) over the span of 24 hours.

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) has been in touch with Toronto Mayor John Tory and Toronto Police Service, which has confirmed that the antisemitic graffiti incident at Beth Sholom Synagogue is being investigated and treated as a “suspected hate motivated offence.” Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-1300 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), or online at www.222tips.com.

Antisemitic graffiti was also found on the walls of a Thornhill school and on a downtown Toronto sign calling for “#nohate against Jews,” which was vandalized to read “Free Palestine” and “Zionists aren’t Jews.” This comes in the immediate aftermath of swastikas appearing on the election signs of Jewish candidates in Montreal, which leaders of all four major political parties denounced.

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center President and CEO Michael Levitt issued the following statement:

“This rash of antisemitic incidents reaffirms what Toronto Police hate crime statistics had revealed, which is that antisemitic attacks are on the rise and the Jewish community continues to be the most victimized group. It’s extremely disturbing to see such anti-Jewish hate be spread across the Greater Toronto Area. It’s urgent for all Canadians to reject and call out antisemitism in all its forms and work to eradicate this type of hate from our society. Hate against any one of us is hate against us all.”

At this critical time, FSWC is moving forward with more educational programming, for educators and students alike, as well as continuing to advocate on behalf of the Jewish community for stronger consequences for such acts of hate.

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