Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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Antisemitic COVID19 Stickers Found in Halifax, Canada

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Members of Halifax’s Jewish community are speaking out in response to stickers they view as antisemitic that have been appearing around the city in recent weeks.

The stickers, printed in black and white on mailing labels, say: “The Bug That Backfired COVID-19.” Also shown are the Jewish Magen David, or Star of David, and a symbol resembling that of the Freemasons.

“At first glance, this sort of appears strange and people might be unsure,” said Naomi Rosenfeld, executive director of the Atlantic Jewish Council. “But, unfortunately, we know that this messaging harkens back to old antisemitic tropes.”

One of those is the well-known Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Rosenfeld said that is a fabricated antisemitic text that tells the tale of Jews who conspire to rule the world.

“The implication is that the Jewish community was the cause of COVID-19, which obviously is completely false and very antisemitic,” she said, adding it also implicates the Freemasons in the same way.

This line of antisemitic thinking is not representative of Halifax and Nova Scotia at large, Rosenfeld said, and the Jewish community has always felt “welcome and at home” in her four years at the helm of the AJC.

But she said the COVID-19 pandemic has everyone “on edge.”

“Unfortunately, it’s human nature to try and find a scapegoat … and a very small, very radical group has decided that the Jewish community is that scapegoat,” she said.

The stickers have been found around the city’s downtown core and on some university campuses, Rosenfeld said.

Marnina Goneck, a member of Independent Jewish Voices in Halifax, has seen the stickers in the downtown. She found them “hateful” and “very disturbing.”

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Goneck and Rosenfeld both encourage anyone who comes across a sticker to take a picture and report it to either of their organizations as well as Halifax Regional Police.

“We can’t keep quiet about something like this,” Goneck said. “We have to really make sure we draw attention in a way that condemns these kinds of actions. We can’t just let it go.”

A spokesperson for HRP confirmed in an email they have received at least one report relating to the stickers.