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Jewish groups decry mock 'eviction notice' sent to residents in Canadian cities

Last Updated Jun 3, 2021 at 5:38 pm EDT

OTTAWA — Jewish advocacy groups are condemning a mock “eviction notice” dropped in mailboxes across Canada as part of a campaign to draw attention to the planned removal of Palestinians from a neighbourhood in East Jerusalem.

The fake notice tells residents that their house is scheduled for demolition within three days, then qualifies that the document is not real, adding that the threat remains a reality for Palestinian families living in Israeli-occupied areas.

The 150-person collective behind the faux alerts says it has delivered them to homes from Edmonton to Toronto to Quebec City over the past four weeks, but that no individuals or neighbourhoods were targeted based on their religion or political outlook.

The Jewish Federation of Ottawa says it has seen no evidence that Jewish homes were targeted, but that police are aware of what the organization calls an “upsetting,” “crass” and “counterproductive” tactic — but “not a hate crime.”

Shimon Fogel, head of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, says mock eviction notices run the risk of triggering intergenerational trauma in individuals whose ancestors have faced expulsion and ghettoization spanning millennia.

The notices, which resemble mock eviction documents that have circulated on North American campuses in recent years, first went out last month as a legal battle waged by Israeli settlers to take over properties from Palestinians in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood spilled over into an 11-day conflict in the region.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 3, 2021.

The Canadian Press