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Swastikas scrawled on Israeli hostage posters in Toronto park

“This is a vile act, and I condemn antisemitism in our city,” said Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow.

Cedarvale Park in Toronto, Canada. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Cedarvale Park in Toronto, Canada. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Vandalized posters of several Israeli hostages, including two of the youngest captives, were discovered on Tuesday in Toronto’s Cedarvale Park.

A black swastika was drawn on the forehead of Kfir Bibas, who turned 1 in Hamas captivity in January, as well as on the cheek of his brother, 4-year-old Ariel Bibas. The children were taken along with their parents, Yarden and Shiri Bibas, from Kibbutz Nir Oz near the Israeli-Gaza border.

The other defaced posters showed adult men, both kidnapped and murdered.

“We are absolutely horrified and disgusted to see such vile antisemitic graffiti in our city. These are posters of innocent hostages, including children, who were kidnapped and murdered simply for being Jewish and Israeli. It is utterly inhumane to draw the swastika—a symbol of hate and evil—on their faces,” Michael Levitt, president and CEO of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, told JNS.

Hostage Posters Vandalized in Toronto, Kfir Bibas
A poster of Kfir Bibas, the youngest Israeli hostage taken captive on Oct. 7 by Hamas terrorists into the Gaza Strip, was vandalized on April 9, 2024. Credit: Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

“We are hopeful that Toronto police will find the perpetrator, who must be held to account for their hateful actions, and we thank our political leaders who have spoken out, including Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow,” he continued. “There must be zero tolerance for antisemitism.”

Cedarvale Park is situated in a predominantly Jewish area and frequented by members of the Jewish community, noted the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

In a post on X on Tuesday afternoon, Chow said: “My office has been in contact with Parks, Forestry and Recreation. They will quickly remove the vandalized posters. This is a vile act, and I condemn antisemitism in our city.”

Toronto has seen an unprecedented uptick in antisemitic incidents since Oct. 7. Violence and terrorism against Israel and Jews have been glorified in posters around the city; pro-Hamas vandalism has targeted the storefronts of Jewish business owners; and graffiti has been found on public and private property.

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