November 27, 2023
B’nai Brith Canada is urging police departments across the country to investigate a rising trend in attacks on Jewish venues.
Early this morning in Montreal, the Jewish Community Council building was hit with a Molotov Cocktail. This is the second case of attempted arson at a Jewish institution in the city since Oct. 7. Henry Topas, B’nai Brith Canada’s Quebec Regional Director – who also serves as a cantor at Congregation Beth Tikvah, where the first firebomb was found earlier this month – was on the scene as the police arrived.
“We condemn the cowardly act of throwing a Molotov Cocktail at the entrance of the Jewish Community Council of Montreal,” Topas posted on X. “We trust that the SPVM [Montreal Police] will soon make arrests in these cases.”
A Jewish private school in the Montreal borough of St. Laurent was also vandalized with anti-Israel graffiti over the weekend, fewer than three weeks after two Yeshivot nearby were riddled with bullets during overnight drive-by shootings.
These acts followed anti-Israel demonstrations this weekend in cities such as Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, and Ottawa. As B’nai Brith has warned repeatedly, such protests are becoming hotbeds for antisemitic incitement.
Even as Israel and Hamas agreed to a temporary pause in fighting – an agreement that also required Israel to release dozens of convicted terrorists in exchange for a handful of civilian hostages captured during Hamas’ brutal Oct. 7 rampage in Southern Israel – the Jewish Community Centre (JCC) in downtown Toronto was spray-painted late Saturday night with the words, “ISRAEL FUNDS GENOCIDE.”
Similar hateful language defaced buildings in Ottawa on Sunday. An anti-Israel rally in Calgary created significant congestion downtown over the weekend, disrupting traffic for several blocks. Traffic also came to a standstill at the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto during another anti-Israel rally, with demonstrators stepping between cars on the highway.
Also during the past weekend, at a protest in front of Vancouver’s public art gallery, alleged Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) senior member Khaled Barakat praised Gaza’s terrorist organizations, saying, “we’re not going to shy… Our resistance is very united. The PFLP is fighting today among Hamas and Islamic Jihad… One united front.”
“What we are seeing is nothing less than a wave of antisemitism across Canada,” said Michael Mostyn, B’nai Brith Canada’s Chief Executive Officer. “What appears to be happening is a situation where longtime antisemites have an excuse to show their hate. Much of what’s been happening lately are unquestionable hate crimes.
“Something needs to be done to more efficiently deter radicals who perpetrate such criminal acts. This form of incitement simply must stop.”