A Jewish man in Toronto has given a moving account of his experience of an antisemitic attack on Wednesday, during which the assailant yelled “Free Palestine.”
In a video posted to his Facebook page, Toronto resident Sam Brody explained that he had been walking his dog in the Eglington neighborhood of the city at around 9 a.m. on Wednesday. Brody, who wears a kippah, said that the male assailant pushed him into a wooden fence, knocking him onto the ground.
The assailant then told Brody: “F*ck you, you Jews, you’ll never take Israel — free Palestine!”
In his video recounting the ordeal, Brody said that he was sharing his experience to inform “those who are not aware that antisemitism is a very real and growing problem in our country and around the world.”
Brody added that, “unfortunately, people use Israel as a platform to attack Jews. Being anti-Israel is the politically correct way of being an antisemite today.”
He said that while he understood why “people want to separate the issues, but the practicality on the ground is that they cannot be separated, and in almost every case of antisemitism, anti-Israel sentiment is also expressed.”
Stressing that he did not want his video “to be used to attack any group of people,” Brody said the only information he would provide about his assailant “is that he is neither white nor Muslim.”
B’nai Brith Canada, a leading Jewish NGO focused on combating antisemitism, pointed out that the “brazen assault” on Brody “comes amid an unprecedented surge of physical attacks on Canadian Jews.”
The group noted that during the fighting in May between Israel and Hamas in May, it recorded 61 incidents of antisemitic violence in Canada, the highest since records began in 1982.
It added that the day before the assault on Brody, Statistics Canada released its 2020 figures on police-reported hate crimes in the country, noting that Jews remained the most targeted religious group by a large margin, and the second-most targeted group overall after Black Canadians.