Unlike those who are hit or threatened because they are Muslim or Asian, attacks on Jews receive very little attention in the mainstream Canadian media. And to the extent those incidents are covered they are sometimes treated as if they may not have really happened.
One morning last week, 29-year-old Sam Brody was walking his dog in the Yonge-Eglinton neighborhood of mid-town Toronto. The once-desirable area changed for the worse after a relatively large hotel was converted into a homeless shelter last year. According to the Toronto Sun , Toronto police report crime in that area increased 30 per cent in July 2020 over the same time period the previous year.
Brody, a Jewish man who wears a kippah, was walking on a sidewalk when a stranger approached him and pushed him into a wooden fence. The force was sufficient to knock him to the ground. While on the ground Brody became extremely frightened because he did not know what that person would do next. Then the man made some anti-Semitic slurs before leaving.
As is not unusual with the Canadian mainstream media, this anti-Semitic incident received very little coverage. Nothing in the CBC, the country’s national broadcaster. Nothing in the Toronto Star, the largest circulation daily in Canada that sees all other minority groups as victims. The only major media to cover what happened to Brody was the CTV network (and their story was picked up by their sister station CP24). But CTV‘s coverage of the incident was problematic. The headline of the article appearing on CTV‘s website was “Jewish man allegedly assaulted while walking dog in Toronto neighbourhood.”
Notice the use of the word “allegedly” in the headline. To begin with this is not an article about someone who is charged with a criminal offence and has not been convicted in a court of law. Accused persons are entitled to the presumption of innocence so the word “allegedly” should be used. The phrase “allegedly assaulted” is technically correct because the word “assault” is a legal term; someone can only be found to have been “assaulted” after a court determines an assault has occurred. If this phraseology was commonly used in articles about people who have been attacked because of their ethnicity or religion it would be acceptable. But let’s look at how CTV reported a similar incident where a Muslim woman was knocked to the ground for no reason other than the fact she was a Muslim.
Occurring in June of this year, the CTV headline read “She was thrown to the ground: Police investigate attack on Muslim woman in Edmonton.” This 50-year-old unnamed woman was thrown to the ground as was Brody. In her case, she suffered injuries and her attacker didn’t say anything. But the nature of the two attacks were similar.
There was nothing “alleged” about what happened to her. It was reported as having happened. In the Toronto case the use of the word “alleged” as opposed to the word “attack” was used to cast doubt on Brody’s explanation of what happened to him. As well, although CTV reported the 29-year-old was subjected to anti-Semitic slurs, the article failed to say what they were. There was no way the reader could ascertain from the article whether these slurs were in fact anti-Semitic. According to the algemeiner, the person who attacked Brody said, “F*** you, you Jews, you’ll never take Israel – free Palestine.” By leaving these words out of the article the network again leaves it open that maybe the attacker, if he said anything, really wasn’t saying anything that could be objectively interpreted as being anti-Semitic. As well, those words do not fit with the left’s narrative that anti-Semitic acts all emanate from right-wing neo Nazis and absolutely nothing to do with what is transpiring in Israel.
In addition to the CTV coverage, the Edmonton incident was reported on by CBC, Global News and the Edmonton Journal. The premier of Alberta was asked to comment on it.
Nothing in the Toronto article mentions at least the possibility of what happened to Brody was a hate crime. The Edmonton story at least quotes the Edmonton Police Service as indicating their Hate Crimes Unit have been notified.
This is but one example of how attacks on Jews are treated differently by the Canadian media than are attacks on Muslims, both in way they are described and the amount of coverage. Attacks on Jews are no big deal compared to incidents involving other minorities, especially Muslims.
As far as what happened to Brody is concerned, the Toronto police are allegedly investigating.