Montreal Jewish-owned restaurant included on boycott list attacked amid antisemitic crime wave in Canada

Police are reportedly investigating the incident but haven’t yet determined whether the holes were caused by bullets or some kind of projectile.

By Jack Elbaum, The Algemeiner

A Jewish-owned restaurant in Montreal has been attacked after being included on a boycott list created by anti-Israel activists, adding to a long list of Jewish institutions that have been targeted in Canada since the Israel-Hamas war began in October.

Falafel Yoni said one of its locations had been targeted, and photos of bullet-sized holes in the windows went viral on social media.

Police are reportedly investigating the incident but haven’t yet determined whether the holes were caused by bullets or some kind of projectile. No casualties were reported.

“Thanks so much for the overwhelming amount of support we’ve received in light of our St. Viateur location being targeted last night,” the restaurant said in an Instagram post.

Restaurant owner Yoni Amir said he believes his business was targeted on Tuesday night because he is Jewish and was born in Israel, according to local media.

“It’s very unfortunate, not just for me, but anyone that shares my heritage,” he said.

According to Amir, staff members found the damage on Wednesday morning, and he called the authorities once he was notified.

“Thanks so much for the overwhelming amount of support we’ve received,” said Falafel Yoni. “We’ll be back to business as usual tomorrow.”

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The eatery added that, in light of the news of it being attacked, it had received many one-star reviews from politically motivated people who had not eaten at the restaurant.

A specific motive for the attack has not yet been established. It’s “still too early to determine if this is a hate crime,” said Montreal police spokesperson Sabrina Gauthier.

However, the restaurant was included on at least two lists of restaurants to boycott that were created by a number of anti-Israel activist groups in Montreal, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Falafel Yoni was the first business on one of the lists and the third on the other. It was included because the owner allegedly “support[s] a military regime responsible for the genocide of tens of thousands of Palestinians” and visited “occupied Palestine as he wanted to bring ‘Israeli’ cuisine back to Montreal.”

Valerie Plante, the Mayor of Montreal, wrote on X/Twitter that she was “shocked to learn that new acts of violence appear to have been committed with the aim of intimidating the Jewish community of Montreal.”

“Antisemitism and violence, whether expressed in images, words, or gestures, do not represent us and have no place in Montreal,” she said.

Meanwhile, Arif Virani, Canada’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General, confirmed that the restaurant was attacked and added, “Jewish people in Canada are being bombarded with violence and hatred. We can’t be complacent. We tabled stricter penalties for violent acts of hate because enough is enough. Hate must stop.”

The incident at Falafel Yoni was just the latest of a long string of attacks on Jewish institutions in Canada that have occurred since Oct. 7, when Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists massacred 1,200 people in southern Israel, took more than 250 hostages, and began the ongoing war in Gaza.

In November, a man shot at a Montreal Jewish school, Yeshiva Gedola, and was subsequently charged.

Then in mid-May, two masked people showed up at a Toronto Chabad girl’s school, Bais Chaya Mushka, and shot a number of rounds at it in the early hours of the morning. Later in the month, gunfire hit the Belz Yeshiva Ketana at the Young Israel of Montreal synagogue.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to the attack, writing that he was “disgusted that another Jewish school has been the target of a shooting. Relieved that no one was hurt, but I’m thinking of the parents and community members in Montreal who must be incredibly shaken.”

“This is antisemitism, plain and simple — and we will not let it win,” he said.

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Beyond shootings, antisemitism has rocketed in Canada since the Hamas atrocities of Oct. 7, with massive increases in hate crimes targeting the country’s 335,000-strong Jewish community in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver, and several other cities.

In December, newly released police data revealed that, since Oct. 7, Jews had been the victims of 57 percent of all hate crimes in Toronto despite being just 3.6 percent of the Canadian city’s population.

That same month, Canadian officials charged a youth in Ottawa with terrorism offenses over alleged targeting of the Jewish community.

Concerns over antisemitism have also impacted Canadian lawmakers. In March, a Jewish politician who was forced to resign from her cabinet post in the government of British Columbia over remarks she made that were deemed offensive to Palestinians announced her decision to quit the caucus of the ruling left-wing New Democratic Party (NDP) in the Canadian province.

Selina Robinson, who had served as minister of post-secondary education, told local news outlets that she could no longer support the government, citing its indifference to antisemitism.

“That’s been my experience,” Robinson told CTV when asked about antisemitism in the NDP caucus. “There’s been history of that. I’m aware of people who have said or done antisemitic things over time. They’ve apologized or not.”