Two Montreal Jewish private schools were hit with gunshots Wednesday night as Canada continues to see widespread antisemitic incidents across the country.
Bullet holes were discovered by school staff on the outside of the buildings upon their arrival on Thursday morning.
No one was inside either school at the time of the shooting and there are no suspects in either case yet, according to police.
“What is happening today in Quebec is unacceptable,” said Yair Szlak, president and CEO of Federation CJA (Combined Jewish Appeal) at a press conference on Thursday.
“These are difficult times for Jews around the world. There are those who try to import the war happening in Israel to the streets of Montreal.”
The first-floor window of Talmud Torah Elementary School, located on Saint-Kevin Ave. was pierced with a small bullet hole in Montreal’s Cote-des-Neiges neighbourhood.
Another bullet hole on one of the doors was covered up with a piece of tape. Police have located at least one bullet casing near the school.
Police were also called to a second school Thursday morning, Yeshiva Gedola of Montreal, located on Deacon Road in the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood.
“It seems a little absurd that we are sitting here again, two days after we’ve seen molotov cocktails being thrown at a Jewish synagogue and a Jewish community centre on the West Island,” said Szlak. “ Since then, we saw the horrific demonstrations at Concordia that turned into violence and led to detentions and arrests.”
A brawl broke out at Concordia University in Montreal between two student groups supporting either side of the Israel-Hamas war that left three injured and led to one arrest.
“This morning, we woke up to the fact that two of our Jewish schools, institutions in which we trust to send our Jewish kids, were shot overnight. And now, we have to deal with a different reality,“ said Szlak.
“When we said that a line had been crossed, I never thought that two days later I would have to say that that line had been pushed even further. The Jewish community, with close to three hundred years of history in Quebec, is under attack, and antisemitism is not a problem that the Jews can solve.”
Tensions continue to rise throughout the city of Montreal as numerous large scale pro-Palestinian protests have taken place in recent weeks.
“As we speak, there are pro-hate demonstrations taking place downtown on the anniversary of Krystalnatten on Nov. 9. A night where Jews were taken out of their homes and lynched before the greatest genocide in history,” Szlak said.
“In order to celebrate the hate that these demonstrations are perpetuating downtown, the poster that they use shows the breaking of glass,” Szlak added, holding up a copy of one of the posters plastered around Montreal’s downtown and on University campuses.
“Means the nights of broken glass. Salt in the wounds of Jewish community members who commemorate tonight as a great atrocity against our community.”
Szlak then called for the government to designate Samidoun as a terrorist entity.
“These demonstrations are not demonstrations of peace, the organizers, Samidoun, demonstrate hate and reiterate their calls time and again against the Jewish community. We’re calling upon the government to step up and list Samidoun as a terrorist entity.
“Another such organization that is manifesting these rallies is the Palestinians Youth Movement, glorifies violent murderers from at least four Canadian listed Canadian terrorist entities, namely Hamas, The Palestinian-Islamic Jihad, The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and The al-Aqsa Martyrs.”
“If we don’t name what is wrong with society today, antisemitism will continue to fester, hate will continue to grow, and I don’t want to be sitting here in a day or two, talking about what the next steps are,” said Szlak.
This is a developing story.