An Indigo store in downtown Toronto was vandalized with red paint and had posters plastered on its window, claiming the Jewish founder of the company is “funding genocide.”
Images were posted on social media Friday morning of the scene by Michael Levitt, the president and CEO of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization based in Toronto.
“It is absolutely appalling to see this targeting of an Indigo store and its Jewish founder and CEO in a vile antisemitic attack,” Levitt said in a statement.
“The fact that it occurred on the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht, when thousands of Jewish businesses were vandalized and destroyed in a Nazi-led pogrom in Germany and Austria just before the Holocaust, makes it even more painful to witness. Sadly, this is the tragic, new reality for Jews today in Canada and around the world which requires more than just condemnations from government leaders.”
The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center said it has reported the incident to the Toronto Police Service.
The incident comes amid tensions surrounding the Israel-Hamas conflict in the Middle East and the ongoing ground invasion of Israeli troops in Gaza.
Toronto police have said there has been a noted increase in hate crime reports since Oct. 7, when Israel was attacked by Hamas and the conflict between the two intensified, with the largest increase seen in reports of hate-motivated graffiti.
Toronto police Chief Myron Demkiw told a police services board meeting last month that since Oct. 7, there had been 14 hate crime reports – 12 relating to antisemitism and two about anti-Muslim incidents – compared to five during a similar time frame last year.
Police said they will provide an update on hate crime statistics at the next monthly police services board meeting on Nov. 23.