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August 19, 2021 12:32 pm

Rash of Antisemitic Vandalism in Toronto ‘Extremely Disturbing,’ Says Canadian Jewish Group After Synagogue Defaced

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A Toronto synagogue defaced with antisemitic graffiti. Photo: courtesy of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center .

A major Canadian Jewish group called a recent spate of antisemitic acts of vandalism in the Toronto area “extremely disturbing” and urged action on Thursday.

On Wednesday night, a Toronto synagogue was defaced with a swastika, marking another in a series of antisemitic incidents over the course of 24 hours.

Previously, antisemitic graffiti was found on a local school, a sign denouncing antisemitism, and election posters for Jewish political candidates in Montreal.

In the second case, the sign calling for “#nohate against Jews” was defaced with “Free Palestine” and “Zionists aren’t Jews.”

The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center President and CEO Michael Levitt said in a 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,” he said. “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,” he asserted.

After the defacement with swastikas of the political posters for candidates Anthony Housefather and Rachel Bendayan, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “disgusted” and “angry” over the incident.

“It is completely unacceptable,” he said. “I stand in solidarity with Rachel and Anthony, and the entire Jewish community, against this type of hatred.”

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