Anti-semitic van­dals tar­get con­dos

Wil­low­dale home­own­ers out­raged as po­lice search con­tin­ues

Bayview Post - - News - — Jes­sica Wei

Toronto Po­lice Ser­vice (TPS) has launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter sev­eral ten­ants found anti-Semitic notes and swastikas posted on their doors last week at Penin­sula Place, a condo build­ing in Wil­low­dale.

Sev­eral mezuzahs, small cases con­tain­ing scrip­ture verses and hung on door frames, were van­dal­ized or stolen, and notes which read, “No Jews” and bear­ing an ob­scen­ity above a swastika writ­ten in red ink, were found on the doors.

“Judg­ing from the hand­writ­ing, it’s not a very ed­u­cated per­son and not very so­phis­ti­cated,” said He­len Chaiton, a res­i­dent who has lived in the build­ing for 18 years. Her first mezuzah was bro­ken on Satur­day, and hours later, her re­place­ment mezuzah was stolen and re­placed with a note.

“Even the swastika leaves a lit­tle bit to be de­sired. I mean, if you’re go­ing to do a swastika, at least get it in the right di­rec­tion.”

The in­ci­dent re­minded her of her par­ent’s own es­cape from the Holo­caust, and the his­tory of an­ti­Semitic re­marks and ac­tions she faced grow­ing up.

“It’s ig­no­rance and stu­pid­ity and an act of cow­ardice, and the scape­goat­ing of peo­ple who have been scape­goated for mil­len­nia,” Chaiton added.

Af­ter the in­ci­dent, Toronto po­lice ar­rived at the build­ing and launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“This is some­thing that we take ex­tremely se­ri­ously,” said di­rec­tor of cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions for TPS Mark Pu­gash. “These [in­ci­dents] are very dis­turb­ing not only for the vic­tim but for the com­mu­nity gen­er­ally. And we will con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate un­til we find the peo­ple re­spon­si­ble and put them be­fore the courts.”

TPS is now in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent as a Hate Bias crime.

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