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CAEF Letter to Toronto Mayor and Council re standing up to antisemitism and Jew hatred

Mayor Olivia Chow and Council 

City of Toronto 

December 28, 2023

The Jewish community of Greater Toronto is feeling under siege and threatened on the very streets of our city. With calls for Intifada, with pro-Hamas banners and street protests that spread lies while calling Israel an apartheid state or Jews occupiers of their own ancient land, this is both frightening and unacceptable. The Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation calls on our City leaders to stop this.

CAEF notes that large numbers of police are often present, but they do nothing to send the protesters packing, even when police themselves are threatened as was recorded from a recent pro-Palestinian protest held in the Yorkdale Mall.

Last Sunday at the Avenue Road overpass, both Jews and Arabs held flags and some signs, but what was noteworthy was that the anti-Israel protesters attached dozens of flags to the bridge railing which could pose a hazard and is a cost to the city for removal. 

Additionally, one sign called Israel a Nazi state, a clear breach of the recognized definition of antisemitism, and their protesters yelled slogans that were demeaning and hateful, such as “Israel is a terrorist state”. Clearly Israel is a legitimate state, founded with support of the UN, at about the same time as other states such as Pakistan, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria were founded.

It is Hamas that is a listed terrorist organization which is banned in Canada.

The call for “Free Palestine from the river to the sea,” is a call for the eradication of Israel and the genocide of the Jewish people. This is NOT context specific. This is Fact!

On Saturday December 23rd Salman Sima, a pro-Israel, pro-Canadian citizen, walked towards a crowd of anti-Israel protesters, carrying a Canadian flag. He was boxed in chest to chest by pro-Palestinian protesters before being assaulted and having his shoulder dislocated. What did the police do to protect him? Nothing! Posts documenting the incident are below:

On December 30th, those claiming to be pro-Palestinian, many of whom support the terrorist organization Hamas, and have no qualms celebrating the barbarity of the October 7 massacre of Jews and foreign nationals, of children, babies, the elderly and of raping, burning and beheading, are planning to protest on multiple city overpasses, to bring flags, wear kaffiyehs and no doubt spread hatred towards Canada’s ally, Israel, and towards the Jewish community in our own city. This is unacceptable.

War in the Middle East is not the business of Toronto City Council, but the safety of all residents and peace and security of our neighborhoods is, and if you continue to ignore these antisemitic disruptions, you are not providing protection for our community, nor for those Canadians who deplore the hostility and terror that is being projected by these anti-Israel protesters.

We welcome police protection but that is insufficient and is costly, a cost that tax payers should question. Why are the police not arresting those who attack and threaten others? Why are they not shutting down the disruption that is being caused on major roads, in shopping malls, in entertainment and eating areas? Why is the entire Council not deploring attacks on Jewish businesses, parades of haters through Jewish neighborhoods, vandalism and intimidation at Jewish institutions, and the spreading of antisemitism by specific communities in what is touted as an inclusive, diverse and welcoming City?

Do not wait for violence to take place before taking action.

We call on you to, at the very least block the protest from reaching our Jewish neighborhood at Avenue Road and the 401.

Stop this hatred!

Never Again is Now!


Andria Spindel

Executive Director

Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation

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