The Toronto Sun
Nov 2, 2023
Jewish people don’t feel safe in Canada anymore.
And there’s not enough outrage about the constant reminders of why they feel that way.
We have seen a Jewish restaurant intimidated and threatened with boycott, a Jewish business surrounded, homes vandalized, and a woman punched in the face because she is Jewish.
So nothing that happens really surprises.
But this discovery has raised some eyebrows and has the hair standing up on the back of one’s neck.
One look at the Holocaust encyclopedia and you learn quickly what it means:
“On Nov. 9-10, 1938, Nazi leaders unleashed a series of pogroms against the Jewish population in Germany and recently incorporated territories. The event came to be called Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass) because of the shattered glass that littered the streets after the vandalism and destruction of Jewish-owned businesses, synagogues and homes.”
But there it was written on a boarded-up window of a building at the corner of Queen and Yonge Sts. in Toronto. Actually, it was spelled different and written in two words, twice: Krystal Nacht.
But the message was sent.
Unacceptable Antisemitism that when not called out by political leaders becomes the accepted norm. But it’s not normal. Whether it’s graffiti, slogans, threats or violence toward Jewish residents, it’s all intolerable.
“The hate projected at Canada’s Jewish community continues to be amplified,” B’nai Brith CEO Michael Mostyn said. “Kristallnacht is widely considered to be a defining moment in the perpetration of the Holocaust. Graffiti invoking the “night of broken glass” can only be understood as incitement against Jews.
“Canadian Jews have not faced these levels of incitement and anxiety since those dark days. “
And too often in recent days and weeks since the Oct. 7 slaughter of 1,400 Israeili Jews in one day. While war rages between Israel and Gaza, Canada is facing unacceptable attacks on Jewish people. The police are busy with many investigations. One is of a Toronto woman seen in video tearing down posters of Israeli hostages who are being held by Hamas.
This is Dr Mark Bryer, MD’s wife, Andria Evan Bryer. She is ripping off the kidnapped posters. The videographer or this video was assaulted for filiming her anti Israel rants.
“This incident has been reported and the Hate Crime Unit is actively investigating. No arrests have been made at this time,” said Toronto Police spokesperson Stephanie Sayer.
But whether or not there is an arrest and whether or not one is legally allowed to tear down a poster they don’t like, the point is the overall theme noticed in many areas of Ontario right now is open hostility toward Jewish people.
That it is not being called out more by the leaders is almost as disturbing as the attacks themselves.
“The lack of compassion for the Jewish hostages of Hamas, exhibited by those tearing down these posters, is emblematic of the deep–rooted undercurrents of anti-Semitism permeating within our society,” said Mostyn.
Mostyn is right. The symbolism of what is happening is understood for what it is: It’s anti-Jewish. The truth is it’s not really an undercurrent anymore. It’s out in the open and supported by many. None of it would be greeted with ambivalence if it was towards any other community. Nor should it be.
Another example is the OPP investigating an incident over last weekend in Washago, near Lake Simcoe, of a family coming home to anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on their house.
This kind of anti-Semitic messaging is unacceptable but yet becoming more routine. This was at a home in Washago. The OPP is investigating.
“Jews die and slaughter was written across the garage,” Ryan Merovitz told Newstalk 1010’s John Moore, adding they also received a note that said, “You and your Jewish family are going to die.”
Telling the Toronto Sun “it’s the community that has given us the courage to continue,” Merovitz said the “harrowing experience” he and his family experienced is a surprise since they have never felt threatened before.
That said, in the days prior to the vandalism at their home they did see people peering in their window. The OPP is investigating.
Over in Kingston, there have been some dangerous calls as well. In one, a man was arrested for allegedly advancing his truck and revving his engine toward a group of Jewish mourners. In light of the death and terrorism that has been occurring around the world, it’s lost on no one how much carnage there could have been had Kingston Police not stopped this driver.
“It was reported that some attendees were dressed in Hamas attire and that references were made to the current war in the Middle East as well as potential threats toward members of the Jewish community,” Insp. Brian Pete said.
Kingston Police Const. Ash Gutheinz added that the service “understands the sensitive nature of current conflicts that are occurring globally and the related heightened sense of awareness that this may bring about publicly” but “wishes to reinforce to the public that all measures are being taken to ensure the safety of all members within our community.”
Toronto Police and Peel Regional Police have also been sending out clear messages that intolerance and threats toward any community won’t be tolerated. One hate-related arrest has been made already and there may be more to come.
Either way, the Jewish community doesn’t feel safe anymore.