Anti-Semitic vandalism has been on the rise in Toronto

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on April 2, 2020

On March 27th the Aroma espresso bar on College Street in Toronto was defaced with anti-semitic graffiti which read “zionists not welcome” right on the front of the owner’s shop.

Although the graffiti technically was targeting zionists and not Jewish people, it is a well known trope for anti-semites to conflate being Jewish with being the pro-Israel ideology of zionism, so both tend to be attacked interchangeably. 

The National Telegraph reached out to Ran Ukashi, a representative of B’nai Brith Canada, and the National Director of League for Human Rights, to give us more details on the incident that occured.

Ukashi told TNT that, “[B’nai Brith] were notified of a vile and brazen incident of antisemitic vandalism carried out against an Aroma restaurant in downtown Toronto. The use of expletives and the spray-painting of “Zionists not welcome” is disturbingly reminiscent of darker days when signs forbidding Jews from private and public spaces were commonly seen in the period leading up to, and during the Holocaust.” 

Ukashi reminds Canadians that this sort of vile hatred existed in Canada’s history as well as today. 

Ukashi stated, “Such signs even existed in Canada, with signs forbidding “Jews and dogs.” The Jewish community and Canadians of good conscience will never accept such hateful actions and sentiments.”

Although a small instance of hate in Toronto there have been worries if anti-semitism has been on the rise in the city over the past decade. Statistics indicate that all over Canada we have seen consecutive increases in the past three years of instances of reported anti-semitism. 

Even when studying individual provinces out west like Saskatchewan and Manitoba anti-semitic hate seems to be a generally growing trend, just as it has been in the United States and Europe, showing a more global issue rather than a local one.

Most notably last year New York state had seen a massive increase in anti-semitic violence and even terrorist attacks. These were acts of hate that first manifested as lesser crimes like what is happening around Toronto. 

Hopefully looking to a resolution to this more recent hate crime Ukashi said, “We have reported this incident to police and hope that the perpetrator or perpetrators of this crime are swiftly arrested and charged.”

So far no suspects have been identified with defacing the Aroma espresso bar, but police are still investigating.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

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