Antisemitic posters that have sprung up around the University of Victoria campus has caught the eye of a national Jewish advocacy group.
Posters were observed on the UVic campus last week saying “(((Those))) who hate us will not replace us,” and providing links to white supremacist websites. The posters also said “Defend Canadian heritage” and “Fight back against anti-white hatred” in what is said to be “A message from the Alt-Right.”
The posters were first exposed by the Facebook group Anti-Racist Action UVic, which is calling on students to attend a Nov. 15 meeting to discuss a campus anti-racist strategy. The group advises anyone to see similar posters to “promptly rip them down.”
“We were obviously very concerned when we learned about this,” said Daniel Koren, media co-ordinator with B’Nai Brith Canada.
He said the triple parentheses are frequently used by online neo-Nazis to identify Jews, adding the wording “is an obvious nod to the slogans the white supremacists were chanting during the infamous torchlight rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.”
While many might see antisemitism as more of a 20th century issue, with Muslims a more likely target of racists today, Koren says that isn’t the case. He said statistics compiled by his organization show that members of the Jewish community are most targeted for hate crimes.
“It also shows that Muslims are definitely the fastest rising group in terms of hate crimes. But Jews, even though we’re just a fraction of the Muslim population in Canada, we are still the most targeted for hate crimes,” said Koren, adding that their audit shows that 2016 was the worst year for antisemitism since they started keeping track 36 years ago.
Koren says posters targeting Jews have appeared at American universities, however, this is the first incident he is aware of in Canada. Posters promoting Holocaust denial were placed around the University of Calgary in February.
He called on the university administration and student groups to publicly condemn the antisemitic rhetoric.
“When we see such types of hatred – whether it’s targeting Muslims, Jews, members of the LGBTQ community – our organization believes it’s important to stand up against this type of hatred. This is not what we believe should be taking place in Canada in 2017.”
A racist social media post believed to be from a UVic student drew a reaction from university administration in September. The university has not responded to a request for comment on the current incident.