TORONTO — York Regional Police are investigating after anti-Semitic graffiti was discovered on a bus shelter in Thornhill early Wednesday morning.
The bus shelter, located at Atkinson Avenue and Spring Gate Boulevard, near Bathurst Street, was vandalized overnight with a spray-painted message that said “F— Israel” as well as swastikas.
Len Rudner, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs’ (CIJA) director of community relations and outreach, said he has been in touch with police about the incident.
“York Regional Police are great on this stuff. They have a programmed response to issues of hate and bias and they were there very quickly and took the evidence,” Rudner said, adding that these cases are especially difficult to solve, since there are rarely any witnesses.
“These people are cowards. They work under the cover of darkness.”
Police spokesperson Const. Andy Pattenden said the hate crime unit is investigating and monitoring the case.
B’nai Brith Canada released a statement that said it’s “extremely concerned by the recent rash of incidents and outright attacks on Jews across the country.”
UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and CIJA released a joined statement that said this kind of anti-Semitic activity is an affront to all Canadians.
“This is yet another example of the hatred against the Jewish people we have already witnessed at numerous anti-Israel demonstrations around the world over the past two weeks. It is especially alarming that recent tensions in the Middle East are now manifesting themselves as hatred against Jews in Canada,” said Berl Nadler, CIJA’s Greater Toronto co-chair.
“We know that all Canadians who share our commitment to peace and respect for all faiths also share our disdain for these shameful acts no matter who the target is,” added federation CEO Ted Sokolsky.
“We are confident that York Regional Police will do their utmost to apprehend the perpetrators of this crime and charge them appropriately.”