London, ON – An executive with Farhi Holdings Corporation called it “sad and scary” that antisemitic graffiti was found scrawled on plywood skirting around a Farhi-owned building on Richmond Street Friday.
“It’s really sad to see it. I just feel it’s a poor reflection of our city, which has so much potential,” said Ben Farhi, an executive with the company and son of company president Shmuel Farhi.
“It’s a sad reality that antisemitic feelings still exist out there.”
Shmuel Farhi is an Israeli-born Jew, a faith also followed by Ben and his family.
Ben Farhi said he was notified on Friday afternoon about a message “Fuck Jew Farhi” in silver spray paint on the plywood skirting around the Richmond Street frontage of the Market Tower building, just south of Dundas Street.
Farhi said the graffiti has been reported to police, and that company employees are checking other buildings to ensure that similar messages aren’t written on other buildings the company owns.
“Usually when something like this happens there’s more than one,” said Ben Farhi in an interview with CBC News on Friday.
Farhi Holdings has extensive real estate holdings in London’s downtown core. Ben said the company has been targeted before by acts of antisemitism.
“After living downtown for over 15 years and being part of my father’s company for about the same amount of time, I can count two or three dozen instances of this happening,” he said.
“As a new father and as one of a few number of Jews living in the city, it’s kind of scary.”
“It’s hard not to get emotional about it,” Ben said. “It’s just unfortunate that the sad realities are that antisemitic feelings still exist out there.”
“I just hope one day that they’ll they’ll be able to live in a world where there’s no hate like this. It’s easier said than done, but that’s my dream for Canada.”