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2020, A Year of Antisemitism in Review--What’s Next?

CAEF reviewed 2020 as it comes to an end and we look forward to a new beginning. Let’s look back at a sampling of incidents of antisemitism across Canada that came to our attention so we can begin to focus where our efforts for next year must lie.

While the country focused on the pandemic and the economy, Jew haters focused on Jew hatred, and did not relent but upped their attacks in 2020. CAEF is dedicated to exposing the hatred, countering the lies, promoting unapologetic Zionism and Jewish Pride, and debunking the “Palestinian” hoaxes.

In 2020 we went online and delivered 20 webinars, a Weekly CAEF Bulletin, initiated several petitions to the Canadian government in support of Israel and condemning incidents of antisemitism, asking the government not to intervene in Israel’s rights to sovereignty, and to recognize Jerusalem, her historic and eternal capital.

We joined with others in urging local governments and the province of Ontario to adopt IHRA, and posed the same demand to the University of Toronto which has a formidable record of antisemitic incidents and provocateurs.

We advised Peel Police on several antisemitic incidents, and asked the Privy Council to investigate the personal online postings of a high ranking civil servant whose postings demonstrate antisemitism writ large, and our submissions to other government bodies highlight the need to be vigilant in the battle for a cultural shift that puts an end to antisemitism

We launched End Jew Hatred Canada, the Canadian partner with, the new Jewish civil rights movement initiated by the Lawfare Project.

We ask for you to contribute to CAEF’s program of exposing and bringing down the haters, combatting antisemitism requires your support.

A Chronological Review of Antisemitism in Canada 2020

December 2020

Toronto AM radio station cuts ties with antisemitic Polish broadcaster: CJMR vice-president Matt Caine noted that the Polish broadcaster had failed to respond adequately to detailed complaints about its portrayal of Jews and Judaism, and that its Canadian representative had simply dismissed these as “inaccurate.”

Antisemitic graffiti on a school in Langley BC: Sometime between Saturday, Dec. 26 and Sunday, Dec. 27, someone spray-painted a swastika and a threatening message on Alex Hope Elementary School.

Meanwhile we saw a host of antisemitic comments appearing on social media from leading activists. Anti-lockdown Marco Pietro denied the use of gas chambers and mass graves in the Holocaust. Gary Markle (Canadians against Hate) said: “Zionism is Nazism… a parasite, a deadly cancer.” Fareed Khan posted : “I am 100% in agreement with the exception of the “Zionist New World Order.”

November 2020

Participants at the “Solidarity with Palestine Car Caravan” was held in downtown Toronto chanted: “Viva, Viva Intifada, Free Palestine.”

Canadian Imam Younus Kathrada (based in BC) prayed: “O Allah! purify it [Al-Aqsa Mosque] from the brothers of monkeys and khanzeer [Jews].”

Meanwhile Mazin AbdulAdhim, a leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir Canada Ottawa , wrote: “They are a weak and worthless people politically… tools in the hands of bigger powers.”

Neo-Nazi stickers found at Cambrian College Sudbury, Ontario.

BC man sentenced to house arrest for ongoing breach of probation related to antisemitic hate crime conviction.

October 2020

Antisemitic graffiti reported in a park located in Richmond Hill, ON: Incident in Rouge Crescent Park is hate-motivated.

Anti-Semitic stickers implying Jews responsible for COVID-19 found in downtown Halifax and nearby university campuses.

Antisemitic incidents reported at Vancouver high school: A Jewish family in Richmond says there’s an antisemitism problem at Steveston-London Secondary after their daughter experienced two separate but equally troubling antisemitic incidents.

Senior analyst at the Privy Council Office accused of being behind numerous antisemitic tropes posted on social media including disparaging comments about the genetic background of Jewish people while claiming Jews participated in or enabled Nazi atrocities.

September 2020

“Jews run the world,” found on several vehicles in Thornhill, Ontario. Similar graffiti found on Toronto subway wall. Swastikas also reported scrawled on streets of Hamilton.

Right around Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) a man accosted a family in their car yelling “Fucking Jews” among other antisemitic calls (Thornhill, ON), and another suspect during Rosh Hashana services outdoors in downtown Ottawa ran up to congregants and spat at them calling out “dirty fu=king Jews.”

August 2020

Van carrying antisemitic messaging seen in various locations in heavily Jewish areas of Toronto, Ontario, “Proof Beirut was nuclear blast covert source says Israel involved.”

Canadian Polish paper blames Jews for COVID-19 virus; says Jews are the source of the world’s ills.

Arabic newspaper in Canada blames Israel for August 4 explosion in Beirut.

July 2020

Antisemitic calls including “Jews are our dogs,” during anti-Israel rally in Mississauga, Ontario organized by high school students.

Firas Al Najim, heading Canadian Defenders For Human Rights (CD4HR) tweeted, “9/11 most likely was an inside job by the US regime and Zionist Allies to JUSTIFY all invasions and plundering of resources in the Middle East.”

An apartment building in Windsor, Ontario housing a number of Jewish students, was defaced with anti-Israel graffiti “F— Israel.” While a swastika was painted on a rock in a park in Thornhill, Ontario with a dense Jewish population.

Foodbenders restaurant, the same company putting up a sign and social media posts stating “zionists not welcome,” placed a chalkboard on the street: “Defund Israel; Defund pigs… FREE PALESTINE.”

Antisemitic attacks directed at two candidates for leadership of Green Party of Canada during zoom debate.

June 2020

Laith Marouf, a pro-Palestinian activist based in Montreal says, “If you want to understand the psychosis that is Zionism… you need to read about Holocaust Porn in Israel.”

Bishara Harb, Toronto-based pro-Palestinian activist, shares on Facebook a message that

Jews “rule (sic) over” the people.

Antisemitic graffiti found at a dog park in Whitchurch-Stouffville, Ontario.

Cat Alexander Simpson Ferris, a Calgary-based anti-Israel activist, posted that the Jews of Israel were baby killers, and “should be hanging from olive trees end of story.”

Faisal Bhabha, NCCM advisor, said during webinar in opposing the adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism that “accusing Israel as a state of exaggerating the Holocaust could be for some a plausible argument.”

Publisher of Canadian Polish newspaper arrested regarding antisemitic content including accusations such as Jews and Zionists have “terrorism in their blood,” and see “Jews are spying on you” using the WhatsApp cellphone application.

May 2020

Firas Al Najim, Canadian Defenders for Human Rights (CD4HR), declared “the Zionist lobbyist controls “congresses and parliaments of the world.” In a tweet he also accused Zionists of “manipulating matters to their devilish desires,” and in the same month accused Jewish leaders of putting Israel’s interests over Canada while his wife and co-manager Aliya Hasan tweeted: “Antisemitism – a term used to shut anyone questioning Israel’s barbarism and Zionist world control.”

Montreal synagogue vandalized and religious articles desecrated.

Radek Lorek, Canadian affiliated with the Slavic Union, shared a meme claiming that Adolf Hitler and other Nazi leaders were Jews.

Quranic verses calling for exterminating Jews recited at Toronto's hate fest Al-Quds Day while Kitchener imam states that Israel is a cancer that is growing.

Kamil Ahmad, Toronto-based Imam accuses Jews of: “initiating wars and causing mischief in the land” and “killing prophets and scholars.”

April 2020

Antisemitic graffiti at a school in Toronto: “all heil Hitler.” Toronto police are investigating after lewd and anti-Semitic graffiti was recently discovered at Ledbury Park Elementary and Middle School.

A growing attack on Zionism included statements from known sources were reported – just a few here:

Lucas Brandon, an online pro-Palestinian activist based in Barrie, Ontario says:“Isreal hell” treats Palestinians “in the same ways that the [NA]tional [ZI]onists treated people under Hitler.”

Calgary anti-Israel activitist claimed “EuroZio Js are herd of blood lusting sycophants.”

Aliya Hassan. “Free Canada from Zionist Control.” “Zionism is the most dangerous virus.”

Nasim Asgari, an Iranian-Canadian “human rights” activist, tweeted “call Zionism what it is – a world atrocity.”

Also anti-Jewish conspiracy theories abounding regarding the virus:

Zoom meetings of Jewish groups disrupted with Nazi imagery, including CAEF webinar about IHRA being a way to address antisemitism.

Graffiti appeared on private home garage door in Toronto.

March 2020

Graffiti scrawled at back of Winnipeg synagogue.

Arabic-language newspaper claims Israelis bury Palestinians alive and steal their organs.

“Zionists not welcome” graffiti found on Israeli coffee bar in Toronto.

February 2020

Canadian Federation of Students votes to oppose IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.

Hamilton School Board employee files complaint of antisemitism.

This is just one of many antisemitic social media postings that Canadians felt free to post, along with this image.

Bishara Harb, Toronto-based pro-Palestinian activist commented about “Nazi Zionists.”

Karen Rodman (Gwendolyn), a minister of the United Church, posted on social media and shared an image

In memory of Mohammad al Na’am [al-Naim], martyred in Gaza yesterday. Exposing the zionist military for extrajudicial murder and mutilation of his body.

Montreal’s Laith Marouf shared the same image commenting, “May death visit the house of every Zionist White Supremacist, death to Apartheid Israel. Glory to our martyrs, glory to Palestine.”

Toronto Imam Kamil Ahmad was recorded preaching, “Allah has warned us of this evil characteristic” of the Jews.

Valentin Auclair from Granby, Quebec charged for inciting antisemitic hate; among his comments: “The concentration camp is the greatest Nazi innovation. That permitted the extermination of a pile of Jews. That is good riddance.”

Graffiti reported in a Toronto restaurant and on Calgary major throughway.

January 2020

Student at Multiculturalism event at York took the podium with t-shirt reading “Anti-Zionist vibes only.”

University of Toronto Union called Jewish groups foreign agents.

Ronny Cameron, Toronto-based far-right blogger, decried Jews control over “Hollywood, porn, the Federal Reserve, and the news industry.”

Holocaust monument in Ottawa desecrated.

Antisemitic graffiti found at Newmarket school.

Antisemitic graffiti found at Jewish BC camp.

Textbook defaced with antisemitic comments in Montreal school.

Swastika drawn on parked car.

Also reported swastika drawn on Alzheimer patient’s head.

Of course Canadian based incidents cannot be viewed in isolation as world events and antisemitic attacks elsewhere have a direct impact here.

The horrific murder of Esther Hogan leaves us wounded and grieving. She was targeted without a doubt for being a Jew living in our ancestral homeland. The violent attacks in France, Germany and Austria along the previous year’s attack on an America synagogue are never far from mind.

In Canada, while we celebrated the coming of peace through the Abraham Accords to the Middle East, we saw many players coming out openly willing to block such peace using Zionism as their heralding call.

We see far left, religious extremists, and the far right joining in vocal and active hate of the Jewish community. A vocal campaign to counter the adoption of the IHRA adoption at the local level despite its adoption by Ontario and Canadian governments continues, led in part by antisemitic groups claiming to be Jewish organizations.

On campus, anti-Israel activity continues growing steam in many ways. We saw pro-BDS motions succeed at U of T, and anti-Israel publications in the McGill Daily going unchallenged, with University of Manitoba standing out for the adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

What does this all say to us at CAEF?

It says that we must renew our efforts to counter antisemitism in all its forms and its many points of origin. It means that we will demand, not ask, for additional tools and resources to counter this ever growing virus of hate including the full adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism. Reviewing the examples pulled together above, it is clear that antiZionism is central to how antisemitism is playing out in Canada today.

We will not only counter antisemitism but also adopt a strong unapologetic stand as Jews and enlist social influencers and allies to join us. It is past time that we demand our civil rights as Jews in this society. Hence we have committed to be an integral partner in the newly formed End Jew Hatred Movement. We hope you will join us!

As the year ends, may we wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year. To quote the great Rabbi Sacks z’l, “optimism is all very well, but it takes courage to hope.” Hope he points out is the active voice of the optimist. I believe that sums us up well at CAEF.

Unfortunately hate takes no holiday – There is still time to end the year with a tax deductible donation to help us in the work ahead.


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