By Jordan Press
A rash of anti-Semitic hate crimes hit Toronto last week, and Ryerson wasn’t immune.
Last Thursday, a Jewish student was standing outside the Podium building with a friend, having a smoke around 4 p.m. He said three male Ryerson students walked by and then allegedly committed a hate crime.
The first assailant raised his fist in the air and said, “[Palestine] forever.” A second assailant added, “Forever and ever.”
As the three walked through the doors into the POD, the first assailant turned around, gave the victim the middle finger and said, “Fuck you, you fucking Jew.”
The three muttered something on their way through the door, which the victim didn’t hear.
“I was really shocked,” said the victim, who was wearing a yarmulke at the time. “I just kept thinking, ‘wow, I can’t believe that just happened.’”
The attack comes on the heels of a slew of hate crimes against Toronto’s Jewish community. On the weekend, 22 tombstones in a Jewish cemetery were overturned. Last week, Jewish homes in Thornhill were painted with swastikas.
The victim and his friend went and sat down in the hall outside the Hub cafeteria. The three individuals stared down the victim, and talked amongst themselves inside the Hub. He didn’t want to leave the area and let the three feel they had intimidated him.
Eventually, he did leave and made his way to Dundas Station, but didn’t feel safe.
“I felt that someone was following me, but I didn’t want to look back,” the victim said.
He then felt something wet hit the back of his neck, but thought it was water dropping from a building. A few moments later, he realized the substance had a thicker consistency than water.
“Someone had spit on me.”
While he didn’t see who spat on him, he believes it was one of the three students who harassed him outside the POD.
After the incident, the victim contacted police and is waiting to hear from a member of Toronto’s hate crime unit.
Still, the victim said, he’s not comfortable walking around campus, constantly fearing he’ll see the three assailants.
The victim wants Ryerson to expel or suspend the students who committed the assault to send a message that Ryerson won’t tolerate hate.
“No one can change the way these people think, but hopefully something like that [expulsion] will change the way they act.”
Before the incident, the victim was at York University for a rally against anti-Semitism.