FSWC Reaches Out to Police After Toronto Magazine Suggests 'Zionists' Are Behind the Spread of Coronavirus

April 29, 2020

Media Statement

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Toronto (April 29, 2020) - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) has submitted a complaint to Toronto Police’s Hate Crimes Unit after a local magazine published an article suggesting Jews were deliberately spreading the coronavirus.

As first reported by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the Toronto-based Islamic newsmagazine Crescent published an article speculating that the rapid spread of coronavirus in China and Iran could be the result of  “Zionists” and Americans dropping the virus over the country using drones.

The article also states that germ warfare was part of Mossod’s “line of work.”

“We have seen governments come out against scapegoating minority groups for the coronavirus. Unfortunately, this is yet another instance whereby a community newspaper is targeting the Jewish people by linking the pandemic to them," said Avi Benlolo, President and CEO of FSWC. "We are calling on our political leaders, law enforcement and the Attorney General to enforce hate speech laws in this case and in all cases when they occur.”

Hate speech, defined as the willfully promotion of hatred towards an identifiable group, is illegal in Canada.