Latest News

B’nai Brith Deeply Disturbed by Swastika Hate Incidents

January 9, 2020
B’nai Brith Canada
TORONTO – B’nai Brith Canada is sounding the alarm after two particularly brazen hate incidents involving swastikas were revealed this week.

In Toronto, an elderly man with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and diabetes was reported by his family on Wednesday to have had a swastika drawn on his head with black marker. The man resides at a care facility in the western end of the city.

It was further alleged that someone had also drawn a swastika on the man’s back, but that it had been washed off before his family arrived.

B’nai Brith has reached out to the victim’s family and Toronto Police in order to investigate this horrifying incident.

Separately, on Tuesday, a taxi driver in northern Alberta awoke to find his taxicab covered in spray-paint swastikas. The Athabasca RCMP said it was investigating the incident, albeit not as a hate crime, even though the cab driver is reported to be Indigenous.

“These shocking incidents reveal the ease with which some people are still using this Nazi emblem of hate,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “The swastika is a symbol of great evil in the Western World, and there is simply no excuse for drawing on it a person’s car or body.

“We hope that law enforcement is able to swiftly apprehend the perpetrators of these disturbing acts.”

B’nai Brith’s Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents for 2018, the most recent year for which full data is available, recorded 2,041 occurrences — a national record.

The swastika is an antisemitic hate symbol on account of its use by the Nazis during the Holocaust, but has also been used to target LGBTQ people, people of African descent, and minority groups more generally.

During the recent federal election, candidate photos from coast to coast were defaced with swastikas.