Rally Condemns Anti-Semitic Vandalism and Hate Crimes

March 24, 2004

Source: Toronto Star


On March 24, 2004 the Toronto Star reported, "'Anyone who overturns gravestones or spraypaints anti-Semitic symbols is not welcome in Toronto,' Mayor David Miller told a huge rally organized in the wake of a spate of hate crimes in the area. Vaughan Mayor Michael Di Biase, whose community north of the city has also been hit with anti-Semitic vandalism addressed the more than 1,000 people who jammed a theatre tonight for the rally. 'I wish I didn't have to be here tonight,' Di Biase said. 'I wish it was not necessary in 2004 for 1,000 people, plus, to come together on a dark and rainy night . . . to talk about how important it is for us to live together in harmony.' In the past two weeks, a synagogue was splattered with eggs, two Jewish schools were vandalized, a Jewish cemetery was desecrated and homes were painted with swastikas. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, who has already condemned the anti-Semitic activity, told the rally his government deplores the recent acts. 'Here we practise tolerance, with one notable exception,' McGuinty said. 'Here there is zero tolerance for hate and those who would spread it.'"