Toronto Plagued By Swastika Spree
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Toronto Plagued By Swastika Spree

B’nai Brith Canada has has called for vigilance and action following three incidents of vandalism in the Toronto area during the past three days. The incidents appear related, involving the use of stencils to spraypaint black and red swastikas, most recently at Beth Tikvah Synagogue on Bayview Avenue where a swastika and the words “Islam will rule” were spraypainted near the school entrance late yesterday afternoon.
“We commend the proactive response of Rabbi Grover of the synagogue who, along with other Torontonians, called the Anti-Hate Hotline on discovery of the defacement," said Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada. "We remain in close contact with police as the pattern of related incidents unfolds."
"All suspicious activity is to be reported to police and the Hotline as soon as possible so that the investigation can proceed quickly. We needed no reminder that Jews in Canada, as documented in our annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents as well as police statistics, face an increase in acts of hate. “
After a two-year study, the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism released a report released last month calling on the federal government to do more to fight anti-Semitism in Canada, which it said is rising, due partly to increased hostility toward Israel.

Over 10 days of hearings between November 2009 and February 2010, the coalition’s 22 members, consisting of lawmakers from all federal parties, heard from 74 witnesses, including federal and provincial politicians, diplomats, university administrators, academics, chiefs of police, journalists and other interested individuals.

Among its dozens of recommendations, which are not binding on the government, the coalition said that police forces across Canada should be better trained to deal with anti-Semitism; Canada’s immigration department should take into account rising international anti-Semitism when designating source countries for refugees; and the Foreign Affairs Ministry should study the United Nations’ criticisms of Israel.

It also said that legislators and others need "a clear and concise definition of what anti-Semitism entails."

One major concern of the coalition was Israeli Apartheid Week, an annual event on Canadian university campuses.

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