Jewish leaders denounce anti-Semitic notes
North York residents saw swastikas, hateful messages left on doors last weekend
Politicians and Jewish leaders came together Wednesday to condemn the anti-Semitic notes left at a North York condo building.
Residents of 233 Beecroft Rd., near Yonge St. and Park Home Ave., say notes were left last weekend on doors with the phrase “No Jews” above a swastika written in red ink. Mezuzahs were also vandalized.
“There is no place for these acts of hatred, the acts of discrimination, these acts of anti-Semitism,” Mayor John Tory said at a news conference. “When (such acts) happen, we have to stand together with the men and women of the Jewish community and say this is not who we are, this is not acceptable in the place where we live together.”
Rabbi Moshe Steiner, co-director of Uptown Chabad Synagogue in North York, said he visited residents after the attack and found them shaken.
Residents who were targeted were offered free mezuzah scrolls, Steiner said. He added that the residents wanted to lay low after the attacks.
“The answer to this hateful type of attack is absolutely not to say let’s recede into the shadows, let’s keep a lower profile . . . we cannot do that,” he said. “We dare not, we dare not be marginalized and recede into the shadows. Let’s not be intimidated . . . whoever perpetuated this hateful crime is trying to intimidate us . . . trying to force us to cower in the shadows. We cannot do that.”
Toronto police Sgt. Lawrence Sager said he is confident that whoever is responsible for the crime will be brought to justice and that tips are still coming in from the public. The suspect could face hate-crime charges, as well as theft and mischief interfering with property.
“We take this sort of criminal activity very seriously,” he said. “We recognize these types of crimes have far-reaching repercussions and we support the Jewish community in order to ensure that they feel safe.”
Anti-Semitic incidents have been constant across the country since at least 2011, according to B’nai Brith Canada’s audit.
“Unfortunately that seems to be a new normal — a new normal of targeting the Jewish community,” said Michael Mostyn, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada.