Jewish-owned businesses in Montreal are being targeted and vandalized with antisemitic material, with the owners too scared to speak out publicly or complain to the police, the Montreal Gazette has learned.
Lists of such businesses are being circulated on social media, mostly on TikTok, urging people to boycott restaurants and other establishments that are owned by Jews or that are deemed to be supportive of the Israeli government in its war against Hamas in Gaza. But protesters are not simply boycotting businesses; some are visiting them and vandalizing company property.
The owner of a chain of local coffee shops told the Montreal Gazette that “last weekend, they put swastikas on the … menus downtown and they wrote ‘F— THE JEWS.’”
The owner added that protesters scrawled in permanent black marker “Free Palestine!” on the plates of one of his restaurants in Verdun. The windshield of one of his vehicles was also smashed. The Gazette has chosen not to make public the owner’s name or identify the businesses, as the individual fears potential reprisals.
“A lot of stuff had been happening, but it’s worse for the schools. I think we should focus on that more,” the owner explained in a text. “The scariest is the shooting at the (Jewish) schools. I don’t want to comment on my end or put any more attention on myself or businesses. I would rather let it pass, and have all the eyes focused on schools and synagogues.”
The vandalism of Jewish-owned businesses in Montreal adds to the firebombing of the entrance to a synagogue in Dollard-des-Ormeaux last week and gunshots fired at a Jewish day school in Côte-des-Neiges on Sunday — the second time the same yeshiva was struck with bullets overnight.