Montreal Kosher Restaurant Vandalized in Possible Hate Crime, Attempted Arson
A kosher restaurant in Montreal was subjected to extensive vandalism and attempted arson on Sunday night, in what the municipal police (SPVM) are treating as a possible hate crime.
The front door of Chez Benny in Ville Saint-Laurent was smashed in with a rock, after which the vandals attempted to set the establishment on fire. The arson attempt failed due to lack of flammable material, according to B’nai Brith Canada.
Police suspect that the incident may constitute a hate crime for several reasons: no money or valuables were taken, making robbery unlikely; two adjacent non-kosher restaurants were not attacked; and it came in the wake of other incidents of antisemitic violence and vandalism in Montreal amid recent hostilities between Israel and Hamas.
Chez Benny’s owner Mike Assedo spoke with B’nai Brith Canada and said that he hopes to reopen on Wednesday. He also asked anyone with information about the incident to come forward.
B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn commented, “It has been a difficult month and a half for Jews across Canada, so people are naturally on edge following this attack.”
“We thank our friends at SPVM for their swift work, and will do anything possible to assist with the investigation,” he added.