Toronto Jewish community reacts to Iran attack on Israel

The Jewish community in Toronto speaks out following the latest strike on their homeland. Afua Baah has the details on how this attack heightens local concerns on what could come next in this conflict in the Middle East.

By Afua Baah

Dozens attended a rally held by the Toronto Jewish community on Sunday afternoon in the Bathurst Street and Sheppard Avenue area, to speak out against Iran’s attack on Israel on Saturday.

Those who attended say there are renewed worries about how this latest act of violence could once again hit the community here at home.

Iran launched around 300 missiles and drones at targets inside Israel, but Israeli officials say the country and its allies were able to intercept about 99 per cent of them. Iran has since declared the operation over.

“Anybody that stands with us, they are all being attacked, I mean this is pure hate” said Esther Mordechai, President, of the Canadian Women against Anti-Semitism. “We’re all traumatized, we’re crying, I mean for six months, this is an ongoing issue, this is not about the land.”

Rally organizer Guidi Mamann also said they want the violence to come to an end. “We all want ceasefire, there’s nobody who wants their children in harms way.”

Tensions in the Middle East that are once again escalating has left the community worried that the Hamas attack in October will be forgotten.

“Our hostages still are not home. That means somebody hasn’t gotten the message. They haven’t been persuaded enough that they should release these innocent people,” said Mamann.

In the Oct. 7 attack that sparked the current conflict, Iran-backed militants from Hamas and Islamic Jihad killed 1,200 people in Israel and kidnapped 250 others. The subsequent Israeli offensive in Gaza has caused widespread devastation and killed over 33,000 people, according to local health officials.

Locals also fear what this new phase of attacks could lead to. “This could turn out very ugly for the world,” said Mamann. “This conflict is going to trigger, God forbid, an international situation where it’s going to get out of control, this is an international problem, and we can’t carry the weight all by ourselves.”

Toronto police tells CityNews there is no known threat to the city, but they continue to deploy officers in dedicated patrols around places of worship, schools and community centres.

They also say there is a command post that remains on Bathurst Street near Glencairn Avenue for ongoing community presence.

With files from The Canadian Press

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