Rash of anti-Semitic, anti-Israel posters found on Toronto streets

A neo-Nazi sticker placed on a street light in Toronto. (Courtesy B'nai Brith Canada)

A number of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel messages have been found on the streets of Toronto recently, including a flyer advocating for a boycott of the Israeli-owned Aroma Espresso Bar. A number of neo-Nazi stickers have also been found placed in various locations around town.

Boycott Aroma Espresso Bar flyers have been reported around numerous Aroma locations throughout the city, as well as on street poles in the Annex neighbourhood over the past couple weeks.

A flyer calling on people to boycott Aroma Espresso Bar.

The flyers argue that, “Every cup of coffee you buy at Aroma helps strengthen this illegal occupation and Israel’s campaign of violence against Palestinians,” and calls on people to “join the economic boycott of Israeli products.”

This is not the first time that Aroma has been the subject of a boycott campaign.

“Whenever there is heat on that side of the world, we get the backlash here,” said Anat Davidson, managing partner of Aroma Canada.

Meanwhile, on May 28, neo-Nazi stickers were found on public property in Wells Hill Park and at the front gates of Hillcrest Community School.

Some of the stickers read, “The Nazi youth are here,” while others contain Adolf Hitler quotes and links to a neo-Nazi group’s social media feed.

“The public promotion of anti-Semitic messages in the heart of this country’s biggest city is totally unacceptable,” said Michael Mostyn, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, in a statement.

A sticker containing an Adolf Hitler quote is stuck to a mailbox in Toronto. (Courtesy B’nai Brith Canada)

On May 26, Dave’s, a restaurant on St. Clair Avenue, had a neo-Nazi sticker with the URL of the same website posted in its washroom. The owner suspected that four men she didn’t recognize were responsible.

The Toronto Police Service is assessing the restaurant’s security camera footage and took fingerprints from the stickers.

B’nai Brith’s Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents 2017 reported a 107 per cent year-over-year increase in anti-Semitic vandalism in Canada.

“Stay vigilant, be aware of your surroundings,” said Aidan Fishman, the national director of B’nai Brith Canada.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs has also been involved in the situation of the neo-Nazi flyers, contacting The CJN after the story ran online.

“We are in contact with elected officials, including Mayor John Tory, who has been outspoken in his condemnation of these heinous acts. We are also working with other partner communities who are similarly disturbed by these odious messages of hate,” said Noah Shack, vice-president, Greater Toronto Area, CIJA.

CLARIFICATION: The story has been edited to distinguish between anti-Semitic and anti-Israel posters.