RCMP Sounds Alarm Over Online Threats to Canada’s Jewish Community Amid Middle East Tensions

RCMP Sounds Alarm Over Online Threats to Canada's Jewish Community Amid Middle East Tensions
In response to the war between Israel and Hamas, Toronto Police Chief Myron Demkiw says the service is ramping up patrols at cultural centres, places of worship and schools across the city although there are currently "no credible threats." Police are also launching two command posts where officers can be “easily reached."

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has raised concerns over threats made on social media targeting Canada’s Jewish community. Amid heightened tensions following recent attacks on Israeli civilians by Hamas and subsequent strikes by Israel in the Gaza Strip, the RCMP issued a statement urging the public to remain vigilant.

“Now is the time for increased vigilance. We will not tolerate any form of intimidation, harassment, or harmful targeting of communities or individuals in Canada,” the RCMP declared in the Thursday release.

Government Responds to Community Concerns

Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc has communicated with RCMP leadership addressing apprehensions within the Jewish community. He expressed his faith in the national police force, emphasizing, “I have every confidence that they are treating these concerns with the utmost importance and will continue to exercise heightened vigilance around places of significance to the Jewish community.”

In collaboration with Justice Minister Arif Virani, LeBlanc held discussions with provincial and territorial representatives. Together, they released a joint statement underscoring the core values of Canadian democracy, which thrives on respect and tolerance. The ministers urged unity, highlighting, “Our law enforcement and security partners remain vigilant in the face of these potential disruptions and are monitoring the situation closely to ensure the safety of all Canadian citizens.”

Police stand by as people gather for a vigil in Vancouver to honour those who were killed during recent terror attacks in Israel. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Local Police Forces Take Precautionary Measures

Local police units in both the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Vancouver have bolstered their patrols, notably around Jewish places of worship, in light of the current situation.

Toronto’s Police Chief, Myron Demkiw, acknowledged the global online threats and their implications on Toronto residents, many of whom have connections in the affected regions. However, he reassured that “no credible threats” are currently looming over the city’s communities. Demkiw added that he has been in touch with both Jewish and Palestinian community representatives to understand their concerns firsthand.

On the West Coast, Vancouver Police, while not specifying any direct threat, vowed to enhance their presence around community centers and places of worship. They remain committed to ensuring the safety and security of all Vancouverites.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers remarks at an Ottawa-area event designed to show solidarity with Israelis amid an ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

Prime Minister Addresses Nation’s Worries

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in a recent press conference, acknowledged the deep-seated anxieties in Canada resulting from the ongoing conflict in Israel. He sent out a message of solidarity to both Jewish and Muslim communities, stating, “I want you to know that we continue our efforts to keep our places of worship and communities safe.” He emphasized the unity that underpins Canadian values, reminding everyone, “We must always stand united as Canadians.”

Calls for More Concrete Action

Despite the assurances, federal Conservative deputy leader Melissa Lantsman has advocated for more definitive action from the government. She believes that CSIS should share any intelligence about potential threats with Jewish communities and has also called for coordination between the RCMP and other police agencies.

“The words are really nice, but I think when we’re in a situation as we are, and there is that heightened anxiety in communities, that action should be shown,” Lantsman opined.