• B’nai Brith

Toronto Assault Highlights Trend of “Free Palestine” Antisemitism



TORONTO – A recent assault on a Jewish man near his home in broad daylight is just the latest in a disturbing trend of attacks on Jews stemming from anti-Israel sentiment.

On Wednesday morning, Sam Brody was walking his dog in the Midtown area of Toronto while wearing a kippah, or Jewish skullcap. A man who was passing Brody in the opposite direction suddenly pushed him to the ground and shouted: “F@ck you, you Jew - you’ll never take Israel, free Palestine!”. The incident has been reported to the Toronto Police Service. B'nai Brith Canada has been advocating directly with police in this case on behalf of the Jewish community.

This brazen assault comes amid an unprecedented surge of physical attacks on Canadian Jews. In May of this year, against the backdrop of renewed fighting between the Hamas terror group and the Jewish State, B’nai Brith recorded 61 incidents of antisemitic violence in Canada, the highest on record dating back to the launch of the Audit of Antisemitic Incidents in 1982.

Many of these assaults involved Jews being attacked due to an identification with Israel, including in Toronto, Winnipeg and Montreal.

“Wednesday’s attack is the latest in a string of anti-Jewish violent episodes ostensibly motivated by anti-Israel sentiment,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “As we pointed out at the recent National Summit on Antisemitism, Jew-hatred disguised as anti-Zionism is a serious threat to the Canadian Jewish community."

“We call on all Canadian jurisdictions and institutions – cities, provinces and universities – to adopt and implement the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Definition of Antisemitism, in order to stop hate in its tracks.”

Coincidentally, just a day before Brody was assaulted, Statistics Canada released its 2020 figures on police-reported hate crimes in the country, noting that Jews remained the most targeted religious group by a large margin, and the second-most targeted group overall after Black Canadians.

B’nai Brith is urging all Canadians who witness any antisemitic violence, vandalism or harassment to send pictures, videos and/or information to reportanincident@bnaibrith.ca.

To report online incidents of antisemitism, please email onlineincidents@bnaibrith.ca. You can also contact us on Facebook or Twitter.

If it’s a criminal matter, please call police first, then contact us at 1-800-892-2624.

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