A primary debate for candidates vying to be the leader of the Canadian Green Party held on Zoom on July 21 was disrupted with messages of anti-Semitic and racial slurs.
According to Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC), among the slurs used in the Zoom chat from outsiders were “f—ing Jew” and “n—-r.” One of the candidates in debate, Annamie Paul, tweeted, “My kids were watching. As a Black Jewish candidate, I’ve been subject to months of anti-Semitic & racist attacks. Party silence emboldened hate. It ends when I win.”
Tonight's @CanadianGreens debate was interrupted by chat calling me "N*GGER" and another "F*cking jew".
My kids were watching. As a Black Jewish candidate, I've been subject to months of anti-Semitic & racist attacks.
Party silence emboldened hate. It ends when I win.#cdnpoli
— Annamie Paul (@AnnamiePaul) July 22, 2020
B’nai Brith Canada tweeted, “We strongly condemn the disgusting racist & anti-Semitic slurs directed at leadership candidate @AnnamiePaul at the @CanadianGreens debate last night. Hate is unacceptable in [Canada]. We need to work together with energy & resolve to combat racism in all of its forms.”
We strongly condemn the disgusting racist & antisemitic slurs directed at leadership candidate @AnnamiePaul at the @CanadianGreens debate last night. Hate in unacceptable in 🇨🇦. We need to work together with energy & resolve to combat racism in all of it's forms. #EradicateHate https://t.co/SzW037lqcC
— B'nai Brith Canada (@bnaibrithcanada) July 22, 2020
The Canadian Green Party released a statement on July 22 condemning the Zoombombing and have reported the incident to law enforcement.
“The Green Party of Canada strongly condemns racist, sexist and anti-Semitic attacks against two leadership contestants during an online town hall conducted on Zoom last night,” the statement read. “The vile language appeared briefly in the public chat space before moderators ejected the perpetrators from the event and deleted their hateful comments.”
Simon Wiesenthal Center Executive Director Rabbi Meyer May said in a statement that the July 21 Zoombombing was indicative of the recent rise in online anti-Semitism.
“Online platforms have a responsibility to make a serious and focused commitment to police against the hate that is proliferating on their sites,” May said. “It’s important for groups hosting meetings and events on platforms, such as Zoom, to enforce the necessary security measures to ensure that hateful attacks such as Zoom-bombings are averted.”
Zoombombing refers to the disruption of calls on the Zoom video conferencing platform with offensive language or images that has become more frequent as everybody has been relegated to online platforms as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, a virtual Shabbat Kiddush in Toronto was Zoombombed with similar anti-Semitic and racist remarks.