FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 14, 2022
StandWithUs Canada is appalled by the reprehensible antisemitic vandalism that stated “shoot a Jew in the head” discovered near York University last week. The message promoted is not only hateful, but it is dangerous and threatening. We thank York University’s administration for swiftly condemning this despicable act and for reporting it to and cooperating with Toronto police. We can only hope that the perpetrator of such a horrific message is arrested and held accountable for inciting murder of Jewish people.
StandWithUs Canada’s Executive Director Jesse Primerano said “This adds to a growing list of highly concerning messages and acts of antisemitism in Toronto in recent months. The rate at which this type of hatred is presenting itself in an otherwise progressive society is alarming, and displays a dire need for proactive education on the subject across all levels of academia,
Primerano continued “Statistics Canada recently reported that the Canadian Jewish community topped the list of most targeted religious groups in the country, per crimes reported by police in 2020. It is imperative that our educational institutions and lawmakers do not allow this moment to pass as the news cycles, but rather use it as an opportunity to educate their communities on the presence and danger of antisemitism. The fact that this is taking place adjacent to academic institutions in a country that boasts equality regardless of religion, national, or ethnic origin is absolutely unacceptable and must be treated as such by the leaders of our community.”
While this heinous graffiti was not found on York University property, we are encouraged by the York University administration’s effort to address this antisemitic incitement graffiti’d where many students reside. StandWithUs Canada urges York’s administration to implement additional safety measures to ensure a safe learning environment for its Jewish students and to continue in its efforts to combat antisemitism through education and research.
As University President Rhonda Lenton rightly acknowledged in 2020 in response to concerns regarding antisemitism, “We can strengthen our policies and procedures to protect our community from abhorrent views and actions. We also have an important role to play in addressing discrimination through research and education.”
In light of this most recent antisemitic hate crime and rising anti-Jewish bigotry throughout Canada, it is clear that more needs to be done. We call on York University to implement additional policies, procedures, and educational opportunities to address antisemitism on and near its campus.
StandWithUs Canada commends all members of the Toronto community who have spoken out and acted against this detestable crime. We will continue to support the community in its efforts to educate about and combat this age old bigotry.
About StandWithUs Canada
StandWithUs (SWU) is an international, non-profit and non-partisan Israel education organization that works to inspire and educate people of all ages about Israel, as well as challenge misinformation and fight against antisemitism.
The StandWithUs Canada chapter launched in 2014. Through university fellowships, high school internships, conferences, materials, social media, educational films and missions to Israel, StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their schools and communities about Israel.
Founded in 2001, the organization has programs on five continents with chapters and offices throughout the U.S., in Israel, the UK, Canada and Brazil.