(August 5, 2019 / JNS) Two unidentified kipah-wearing Jewish boys were assaulted in Toronto on Saturday (Shabbat) in what appeared to be an anti-Semitic attack.
The minors were walking in the suburb of Thornhill, Ontario, as they were approached by an unidentified young person who verbally harassed them, followed by punching one of them in the face. The suspect followed them as they sought to leave the scene.
“This is an extremely serious incident, and we trust that law enforcement will give it the attention that it deserves,” said B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn in a statement. “It is inconceivable that Jewish families will be afraid to send their children to the park, in a heavily Jewish neighborhood, on the Jewish Sabbath.”
Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
The incident occurred less than a week after a similar one in Montreal, where a taxi driver assaulted a kipah-wearing Jewish male who was waiting for the taxi to move from blocking the entrance of a building’s underground garage. The driver yelled, “I won’t move for any f***ing Jews.”
“This is a shocking anti-Semitic hate crime, in which someone could have been gravely injured or even killed,” Mostyn told The Montreal Gazette. “Our thanks as a community go out to the good Samaritan who stepped in before this event became even uglier.”
The driver was fired by his taxi employer, reported the Gazette.
“We do not tolerate aggression, anti-Semitism and racism. Taxi Champlain was basically built by the Jews of Outremont; they make up most of our clients,” said the company’s president, George Boussios.
The incident, which was caught on camera, is being investigated as a hate crime.
Jews are the most targeted minority group when it comes to hate crimes in Canada, despite a 4 percent decrease from the year before.
According to B’nai Brith Canada, 2,041 anti-Semitic incidents in Canada were reported in 2018.
Canadian police responded to 1,798 hate crimes in 2018, and 2,073 the previous year.