Toronto (October 25, 2023) – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is deeply disturbed by the recent surge in antisemitic incidents in Toronto, including a slew of new hate crimes targeting Jews that police are now investigating.
Yesterday, the Toronto Police Service notified the public of two incidents that are under investigation, one involving a stolen mezuzah and another consisting of hateful remarks.
Other incidents across the city involved graffiti depicting the Star of David smeared with red paint to symbolize blood and words such as “Free Palestine” and “Soaked in Blood” above the symbol. Similar graffiti was found at Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute.
This past weekend, an anti-Israel rally targeted Café Landwer, a Jewish-owned restaurant chain, in downtown Toronto, with protesters yelling “boycott” and accusing it of being a “Zionist café.”
These incidents follow the Toronto Police Service reporting a 132 per cent increase in hate crimes since the Israel-Hamas war began.
“This has been a time of great anguish for the Jewish community, which not only continues to grieve the loss of the more than 1,400 Israelis murdered by Hamas terrorists in the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, but is immensely disturbed by the extreme spike in antisemitism online and on our streets,” said FSWC President and CEO Michael Levitt. “Unfortunately, the rise in antisemitic incidents isn’t a surprise, considering this form of hatred always rears its ugly head in times of conflict and war in the Middle East. The targeting of Jewish people and businesses is pure, unadulterated antisemitism, and it has no place in the City of Toronto or anywhere else in this country.”