The Jewish Student Center at Queen’s University warns of rising anti-Semitism in the city.
Swastika graffiti and messages of violence at various locations on and off campus have been reported in recent weeks and prompted the university’s headmaster to condemn these acts of hate.
It all started with a swastika drawn on a refrigerator on the fifth floor of the new Queen’s Albert Street residence hall in early October, where at least one Jewish student lived.
“I think as a Queen’s student living in Kingston, it’s absolutely horrifying,” said Georgia Gardiner, a Jewish student at Queen’s.
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“And that feels a bit new because in the past, say, all the anti-Semitic graffiti found on sidewalks in 2019, it could have been someone off campus…but in a residence hall, that means it’s another student” , added Yos Tarshish. , Deputy Director of Queen’s Hillel, the Jewish Student Center.
This is just one example of the anti-Semitic hatred seen on campus in recent weeks.
Queen’s Hillel said there has been a shocking increase in messages of violence at various locations on campus and most recently reported on social media.
Tarshish says the Queen’s campus will typically see an anti-Semitic message on campus each year.
However, since the Albert Street vandalism, another incident on campus has been reported, along with three separate instances of anti-Semitic graffiti at local downtown businesses, including “kill the Jews” written on the door of a Princess Street store.
“The sharp increase over the past few weeks has certainly scared and worried many of our students,” Tarshish said.
“I think it’s no coincidence that this followed Kanye West’s hateful anti-Semitic views,” Gardiner added.
She said anti-Semitic rhetoric seems to be on the rise lately – and especially since American rapper and fashion entrepreneur Kanye West started making anti-Semitic statements on social media.
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Now an increase in such images around Kingston worries him.
“There are times when I wonder, ‘Am I safe here?’ said Gardiner.
Last week, the university’s principal, Patrick Deane, condemned the discriminatory messages.
“I want to be very clear that there is no room at Queen’s for anti-Semitism or for hatred or violence of any kind against any member of our community,” he said. he declares. “We will not tolerate it and we will oppose it and take action whenever we can.”
The university and Queen’s Hillel urge students to report any acts of discrimination or violence, to address acts of hate, and to maintain a safe community for students and residents of Kingston.
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