The Toronto Sun
October 27, 2023
It’s billed as a motorcycle ride in support of Hamas to ride through Jewish communities to intimidate them.
It doesn’t sound legitimate at first look. It’s such a heinous social media posting that it’s difficult to believe it could possibly be true.
But with a view of taking no chances, and just in case a post promoting a motorcycle ride in support of terrorist Hamas to harass Jewish citizens is happening, Toronto city Councillor Brad Bradford has decided to speak out and call it for what it is.
Sometimes you just can’t afford to wait for all the information. This is one of those times. Better safe than sorry.
Billed as the “Ride for Gaza” the Internet meme says Saturday, Oct. 28 at 3 p.m. “starting at Pickering Town Centre, along Sheppard Ave. E to Yorkdale Mall,” the group calling itself “Bikers for Hamas” are “planning a ride through the Toronto Jewish Community.”
If it’s a hoax. It’s a sick hoax. If it’s a legitimate ride, it’s akin to a modern-day version of Kristallnacht in which Nazi’s targeted Jews in their homes and businesses in 1938 in Germany – leaving 91 dead, synagogues burned, people kidnapped, property looted and broken glass all over the streets.
Whoever created this poster, knows exactly what memories to conjure up and the buttons to push. Whatever the cruel agenda is, it’s clear this was a project of hate. The promotion does not say a ride to support innocent people of Palestine suffering through a humanitarian crisis thanks to a terror attack on Oct. 7 that saw more than 1,400 Israelis ethnically cleansed in the largest genocide slaying of Jews in one day since the Holocaust.
What it says is it’s “Bikers for Hamas” — a banned terror organization.
It’s difficult to imagine anybody wanting to join in on such a ride. Perhaps it was just put out there to taunt. But to organize, or even float, people should partake in terrorizing Jewish neighbourhoods is beyond the pale. There is no way that can ever be permitted or promoted in Toronto.
But so many unacceptable things have already been permitted — from schools facilitating anti-Israel protests during school hours to the bullying of Jewish businesses. The escalation is noticeable and concerning.
“B’nai Brith continues to be greatly concerned by the increasing level of incitement we are witnessing at these anti-Israel rallies,” B’nai Brith CEO Michael Mostyn said Friday. “For the Jewish community, the line has already been crossed – targeting Jewish businesses, endorsement of terrorism, and genocidal slogans. What more needs to happen for the city to take action?”
Toronto Police, who under Chief Myron Demkiw and Deputy Chief Lauren Pogue have been skilful in their approach to encourage de-escalation, has indicated it is looking into reports of this strange ride and will address it Friday afternoon. TPS or Durham Regional Police have not commented so far on possible preparations if this Bikers for Hamas event occurs or on any investigation hunting for people trying to stir things up by putting out such a flyer.
They are, perhaps wisely, keeping their cards close. It will be interesting to see if their intelligence units have determined if this was similar to a bomb scare on the TTC last week to create terror through threat or whether it’s akin to the boycott and heckling efforts protesters inflicted on Café Landwer on University Ave., not far from St. Patrick Station where three youth allegedly breached the intercom to say there is a bomb on the train.
The chief, as Toronto Sun crime reporter Chris Doucette this week reported, has been adamant that hate crimes officers are monitoring anything and no lawbreaking will be tolerated.
Still with this ride being advertised for several days on social media and with no answers being provided about what it is, Councillor Brad Bradford decided to speak up about it in an X posting with a view of trying to make sure it never happens.
“This ‘Bikers for Hamas’ rally is a direct attempt to target, harass and intimidate the Jewish community,” posted Bradford. “This is antisemitism. It is hateful and unacceptable. Mayor Chow made a commitment to ensure Toronto’s Jewish community is safe. She needs to work with the Toronto Police Services Board to prioritize additional funding for anti-hate efforts.”
Bradford told the Toronto Sun whether a ride happens or not, the mere suggestion that anybody would contemplate such a thing is “disturbing.” With so many now being exposed for their out-in-the-open anti-Israel stands, it’s wise for Jewish people and the whole city to be prepared for anything and everything.