‘No Jews’: Toronto police investigate anti-Semitic notes left on doorsteps

Front doors of an apartment building were also vandalised

Rachael Revesz
New York
Tuesday 21 February 2017 17:35 GMT
Toronto mayor John Tory said there was 'no place for anti-Semitism'
Toronto mayor John Tory said there was 'no place for anti-Semitism'

Toronto police are investigating a series of anti-Semitic notes left on doorsteps and vandalism at an apartment block following a wave of bomb threats against Jewish centres around the US and Canada.

Jewish residents in North York, Toronto, found notes on their doorsteps with pictures of swastikas and phrases like "No Jews".

Resident Helen Chaiton, whose parents died in the Holocaust, told CBC that the mezuzah, a carving with a Hebrew verse on her doorstep, was vandalised along with several others.

Toronto police said they were taking the notes "very seriously".

"Anti-Semitism has no place in Toronto," mayor John Tory said in a statement. "Our Jewish residents should not have to face hatred on their doorsteps."

Jewish people across North America have found themselves victims of a wave of discrimination during the 2016 election campaign and so far in 2017.

More than 50 Jewish community centres received phone-in bomb threats, with four separate days of threats and evacuations recorded so far this year. In January alone, 48 JCCs and one Canadian province received nearly 60 bomb threats. A Jewish cemetery in Missouri was also vandalised, with many headstones toppled over.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was pictured laying a wreath at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin on 17 February.

In contrast, US President Donald Trump was pressured to speak out on the issue after he omitted mentioning the Jewish people from his statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day and after he told a Jewish reporter to “sit down” for asking a question about anti-Semitism.

"It’s horrible, and it’s going to stop," he said in response to a question at the National Museum of African American History.

Ivanka Trump also tweeted a plea for "tolerance". She converted to Judaism to marry her husband, Jared Kushner, who is the President's senior adviser.

Ethnic minorities including Hispanics, Muslims and African Americans have also been targeted with increasing discrimination in recent months.

The FBI found that hate crimes against Muslims in the US rose 67 per cent in 2016. Last month, a student burst into a mosque in Quebec and killed six people.

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