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Jewish Hospital in Canada Targeted by Anti-Israel Rioters

When you have a female Jewish doctor’s car surrounded by Pro-Hamas protesters shouting “intifada,” while blocking people at an iconic hospital with Jewish roots, it’s no longer a protest but a hate crime.

The prime minister, premier, police and medical community agree.

“Interfering with the operations of a hospital is not acceptable,” said Toronto Police, adding officers are “investigating several incidents that occurred in front of Mount Sinai Hospital.”

Urging “decency,” Premier Doug Ford called out masked, Pro-Hamas protesters who pushed things too far Monday night in front of the “sacred” Jewish-inspired hospital. One demonstrator even scaled the front of Mount Sinai and got up on the University Ave. hospital’s awning.

Dr. David Jacobs posted to X about a female doctor of Jewish faith seeing her car “swarmed” with people “banging on it.” But with only two police officers present, they got away.

“I think it’s absolutely terrible,” said the premier. “Folks, get some decency. Have common sense. These hospitals are there to save lives. Mount Sinai did everything they could to save my brother’s life – he was in there.

“They are an incredible hospital – along with all the hospitals across the province,” he added. “They are there to help people … do not break the law. Because that is exactly what happened, you broke the law.”

Videos certainly support Ford’s contention.

“As we have said before, officers use their discretion during large crowd demonstrations and even if arrests are not deemed safe to make at the time, investigations will continue and charges can be laid at a later date,” said Toronto Police spokesperson Stephanie Sayer.

“TPS will be providing an increased police presence along hospital row to ensure that essential hospital services and emergency routes remain accessible” and they are “appealing to anyone who witnessed the events (Monday) evening or who experienced harassment to contact police.”

There was also a counterprotest by an emergency room physician, Dr. Raghu Venugopal, who first posted to X that he was coming to the demonstration and later put up a video explaining such behaviour was  inappropriate on such “hallowed” ground.

Richard Robertson, director of research and advocacy at B’nai Brith Canada noted “the hospital was founded during a dark period in Canadian history when Jewish doctors were excluded from working at other hospitals.” He said this was “a new low for anti-Israel protesters in Canada,” and added the “sanctity of the patients, their loved ones, and those vested with the responsibility of tending to the sick, was violated.”

Mayor Olivia Chow, who has undergone cancer treatment at Mount Sinai, took to social media to say there’s no place in Toronto for such hate.

In April 2005, Chow, then a Toronto councillor, told the CBC that she underwent surgery the previous year for thyroid cancer. Surgeons removed her thyroid gland, and she later received radioactive iodine treatment to deal with any lingering cancer cells.

“My family has a long history with Mount Sinai. My father passed there, both my late husband (former federal NDP leader Jack Layton) and I had cancer treatments there,” the municipal leader posted to X. “(Monday’s) actions at Mount Sinai Hospital, a hospital founded by Toronto’s Jewish community, were unacceptable. Targeting Jewish institutions is anti-Semitic and hate has no place in our city.”

Councilor Brad Bradford called it “full blown antisemitism” and urged Chow to “end this antisemitism intimidation.”

Referencing a federal government law against protesting at hospitals, Ford implored people to stop.

“I don’t care what you are protesting,” said the premier. “You want to protest, go to City Hall, come down to Queen’s Park, jump up and down, do whatever you want.”

I asked a second question about the blatant antisemitism of this action, and what happened earlier in the evening when Aroma Cafe was vandalized once again?

“It doesn’t matter if it’s Islamophobia, (or) antisemitism, folks we have 120 nationalities here in Ontario, 200 languages are spoken,” said Ford. “We pride ourselves around the world for everyone to come here and get along and live side by side, work side by side.

“We need to live peacefully together. That’s my message to the people of Ontario: … We live in a peaceful society. I am asking everyone, ‘Please get along. Let’s work together. Get along.’”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agreed in an X post Tuesday.

“The demonstration at Mount Sinai Hospital yesterday was reprehensible. Hospitals are places for treatment and care, not protests and intimidation,” said Trudeau. “I strongly condemn this display of anti-Semitism. In Toronto and across Canada, we stand with Jewish communities against this hate.”

Many other leaders commented.

“An Embassy? Nope. A Consulate? Nope. A government office? Nope,” Conservative deputy leader Melissa Lantsman, the MP for Thornhill, posted on X. “The mob chose patients, their families, nurses, doctors and all those helping to save lives inside of a hospital. They chose Jews, because it’s Mount Sinai Hospital. So gross.”

The outrage crossed party lines.

“Targeting Mount Sinai Hospital to incite intifada against Israel and the Jewish people is flagrantly antisemitic and undermines the health and safety of the patients and medical professionals,” Liberal MP Marco Mendicino, who represents Eglinton-Lawrence, posted on X. “The torrent of hatred against Jews and Jewish institutions must stop!”

Deborah Lyons, Canada’s special envoy on stamping out antisemitism and Holocaust denialism, wrote on X that she planned to call “Toronto’s mayor and chief of police today to discuss how they will put a stop to this despicable targeting and attempted intimidation of Mount Sinai Hospital and Jews across Toronto and Canada.”

Independent MP Kevin Vuong demanded to know “what action, steps” Chow was gong to take to protect health-care workers, patients and members of the Jewish community.

“Has she done the absolute bare minimum of ensuring @TorontoPolice’s clear on their responsibility to protect hospitals & health-care workers per Bill C3?” he posted to X.

Based on what has happened since Hamas’ Oct. 7 slaughter of innocent Israeli’s, when it comes to antisemitism in Toronto, it will likely happen again.