Toronto mayor condemns anti-Semitism, makes it focus of public education campaign

Toronto Mayor John Tory has committed to fighting anti-Semitism in his city.

“I want to be clear that anti-Semitic acts are absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our city,” Tory said in a news release on June 2.

The night before, he met with Jewish communal leaders together with city councillors James Pasternak, Mike Colle and Josh Matlow, as well as Police Chief Jim Ramer, to discuss “an extremely concerning and unacceptable rise in anti-Semitism,” the statement said.

Tory cited the most recent report from the police force’s Hate Crimes Unit, which found that Jews were the most frequently victimized group last year. He acknowledged “an extremely troubling” rise in anti-Semitic incidents in recent weeks.

“I have heard the valid concerns of the Jewish community and I stand with them against this hatred,” Tory said.

He said the city’s Jewish population includes Holocaust survivors and their descendants. “They know all too well the danger of anti-Semitism and the tragedies that follow when it is allowed to stand unchallenged.

“That is why we are committed as a city to confronting anti-Semitism—in all its forms—and ensuring Toronto Police are supported in the pursuit of hate crimes.”

Tory said this year’s “Toronto For All” public education initiative will target anti-Semitism, and show that policies have been implemented to stop hate rallies in the city.

“I urge anyone who witnesses an act of hate against our Jewish community to report it to police and never to be afraid to stand up to anti-Semitism,” the mayor stated.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs welcomes Tory’s remarks.

CIJA is calling on the federal government to convene an emergency summit on anti-Semitism and bring together all levels of government to address it. “We need a true all-of-government effort to establish a comprehensive program to combat Jew-hatred,” CIJA said in a statement.

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