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Letter from Michael Teper,to City of Toronto Councillor Lily Cheng demanding action by TPS in regards to hate spewed at Jews during a civil rally on April 7 that called on Hamas to "Let my people go"

Dear Councillor Cheng:

As your constituent, I respectfully request that as my city councillor and as a member of the Toronto Police Services Board, you include an agenda item at the April 30 meeting of the @torontopolice Board to discuss this incident and the shameful absence of an appropriate police response.

What took place at Nathan Phillips Square on April 7, 2024 was unprecedented hate screamed in front of 3,000 Jews, openly on the plaza in front of our City Hall. Constables of the Toronto Police Service were there, witnessed it, and did nothing. They didn't even direct him to leave the square.

If invective of this nature were directed at any other racial, ethnic or religious minority, at Indigenous people, at LGBTQ+ people, the speaker would be immediately shut down and escorted away, if not arrested. Why is it that in Toronto in 2024, Jews still don’t count? This man used amplifying equipment to yell that Jews “crawled out of the ground” and demanded that they”crawl back in again”. That is dehumanizing hate, plain and simple. It’s not about Palestine, or criticizing Israel, or Zionism. It’s just pure, putrid, rancid hate. As a Canadian citizen who is a Jew, I demand equal and impartial enforcement of the law, and equal protection of the law. Canadian Jews are not Class B citizens who must tolerate a certain level of hatred, because that’s just the way of the world, or because the hater happens to wear the colours of the Palestinian flag in order to muddy the waters, or for some other excuse. We are full and equal citizens who demand that the laws on the books that protect us in theory, be upheld and applied in fact.

Since April 7 there were many more incidents of antisemitic and anti-Israel hate in Toronto. Posters of the Israeli hostages were defaced with swastikas in Cedarvale Park. The overpass at Bathurst and Eglinton was defaced with graffiti. There was more graffiti on the east side of University Avenue just outside the Superior Court. It's pervasive and everywhere.

I look forward to seeing an agenda item about Antisemitic Hate Incidents in Toronto at the next Board meeting.

Best regards,

Michael Teper

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