Canadian Jewish groups have condemned a Marxist student group over multiple instances of graffiti, including graffiti stating “Death to Zionism!”
The Toronto chapter of the Revolutionary Student Movement (RSM), whose constitution says they’re “guided by communist principles,” tweeted out photos of “street art” on April 3. The “street art” consisted of the words “Zionism a paper tiger!,” “Freedom for Palestinian students!” and “Freedom for Ahmad Sa’adat! Death to Zionism!” Sa’adat is the general-secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group and is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence in Israel for directing civilian killings.
The student group had also posted photos on March 31 of graffiti calling to “smash imperialism and Zionism” and claiming that Canada and Israel were “guilty of genocide.”
B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn said in a statement, “Sadly, Canada’s Jewish community continues to face threats from both the far-right and the far-left. We are working with our partners in law enforcement, and are confident that this terrorist-admiring cell will eventually be brought to justice.
“Harassing a Jewish community’s neighbourhood with hostile messages is clearly antisemitic. Those who have attempted to justify attacks on Canadian Jewry, from whatever source, should hang their heads in shame. Neither the left nor the right has a monopoly on antisemitism, and no excuses should ever be made for it.”
Michael Levitt, president and CEO of Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, similarly said in a statement, “We know that acts of hate can escalate and spread when left unchecked. These acts of vandalism are troubling and ominous and clearly an effort to intimidate members of the Jewish community in areas where they live, work and play. We expect this group to be held to account for the property damage it has committed, not to mention for the disturbing antisemitic messages it has promoted.”
The RSM Toronto chapter responded to the accusations of anti-Semitism on Twitter by noting that B’nai Brith Canada had focused on graffiti opposing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, which states that the demonization and delegitimization of Israel is anti-Semitic.
“This absurdity is exactly what the IHRA [definition] aims to enable,” they tweeted. “We reply with more paint.” The “more paint” was graffiti stating, “Combat Zionism and anti-Semitism inseparably!”
B’nai Brith Canada also noted that in June 2020, RSM’s Vancouver chapter tweeted that “supporters” had sent them photos of “Free Palestine!” graffiti outside of a “Zionist synagogue” to protest the Israeli government’s potential annexation of the West Bank.