A sign that was placed on a street in northern Toronto stating that Jews aren’t occupiers was vandalized on June 27.
The sign had read, “Jews are owners! Not occupiers!” On June 27, the word “not” was removed from the sign, so it now reads, “Jews are owners! Occupiers!”
Simon Wiesenthal Center Executive Director Rabbi Meyer May condemned the vandalism in a statement.
“This is a very disgusting effort to promote age-old anti-Semitic canards that Jews exert nefarious economic control and are occupiers and usurpers,” May said. “The sign is located in an area with many Jewish residents, and surely many Jewish passersby noticed the sign and were horrified and threatened by its hateful message.”
The sign initially was posted on June 22 to advertise Israel Truth Week (ITW), which aims to inform people of how Israeli settlements and potential annexation of the West Bank don’t violate international law. The ITW website states that the sign “has given a big boost to ITW web traffic. People are learning the truth that Jews did NOT steal land, and the ‘occupation’ blood libel is easily disproved.”
According to Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the rental sign company that erected the sign plans to take it down.
Recent instances of other anti-Semitic incidents in Toronto include a virtual meeting at Toronto Village Shul being disrupted by what is called Zoombombing on June 5, with shouts of “Hitler!” and “More of you should have been killed!” In April, graffiti stating “Zionists are not welcome!” was found on an Aroma Espresso Bar in downtown Toronto.
There has been an 8% increase in anti-Semitic incidents throughout Canada from 2018 to 2019, according to B’nai Brith Canada.