Sunday, March 3rd | 23 Adar I 5784

March 23, 2017 1:35 pm

York U Evacuated After Bomb Threat Targeting Jewish Campus Community Discovered Scrawled on Bathroom Wall

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avatar by Lea Speyer

Photo: York University.

A written bomb threat targeting the Jewish community at Canada’s York University prompted the evacuation of campus buildings on Wednesday, though no explosive devices were discovered.

The threat — along with antisemitic graffiti — was found on the wall of a men’s bathroom on the school’s Glendon campus. 

Toronto Police Constable Victor Kwong told Jewish human rights group B’nai Brith Canada that since March 8, there have been seven racially motivated incidents at the Glendon campus.

“Not all of them have targeted Jewish people. There have been scribbles and graffiti in bathrooms against blacks and Muslims, too. We think one person is responsible for this and he is desperately attempting to get attention,” he said. “Every time we get a call of a bomb threat, we treat it as the highest priority, which is why the building has been evacuated on a few occasions.”

Michael Mostyn, chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada, said in a statement Wednesday’s incident at York “is merely the latest pattern of outrageous attacks against Jewish students on Canadian campuses.”

“Just two weeks ago, York and other universities played host to an annual series of events aimed at demonizing the world’s only Jewish state,” he said. “So how can we be surprised when threats against the Jewish community follow so shortly afterward?”

Glendon Principal Donald Ipperciel condemned the “series of hate-crime messages” found on campus in a statement on Wednesday. “[W]e are deeply concerned and saddened by these acts which we condemn unequivocally. Antisemitism, racism and other forms of hate or attack on members of our community have no place on our campus,” he said.

The bomb threat at York comes against the backdrop of similar incidents targeting Jewish Community Centers in North America, New Zealand and Australia over the past two months. On Thursday, the Israel Police announced that it had arrested a suspect in connection with the threats — an unnamed 19-year-old Israeli-American teenager who reportedly suffers from a nonmalignant brain tumor that affects his behavior.

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