Toronto mural is being redesigned after city council said it accurately portrayed the anti-Semitic trope

A mural in Toronto is being repainted to better represent the artist’s vision after a city councilor raised concerns it resembled too much an anti-Semitic trope.

Toronto City Councilman Josh Matlow increased Twitter to share his opinion about a painting in Tarragon Village featuring parishioners.

The mural shows a Jewish person sitting bent over with almost claw-like hands, next to a person in a wheelchair, a man sewing and a third person playing.

The mural is believed to be on Bridgman Avenue near Bathurst.

“Regardless of the intentions, this new mural in Tarragon Village portrays a Jewish person in a way that far too accurately reflects hateful anti-Semitic tropes,” Matlow said while linking to an image of such tropes.

The councilor added an image of what appeared to be anti-Semitic French propaganda from the 1940s.

A Google search for the words in the picture leads to entries about an anti-Semitic exhibition that took place in France during the German occupation.

The poster shows an exaggerated Jewish caricature hunched over the globe as if to symbolize the fear that Jews would take over the world – a commonly used image in Nazi propaganda.

Throughout history, the exaggeration and disfigurement of Jewish bodies (particularly faces, noses, and hands) has been used to promote anti-Semitic beliefs and governments.

Matlow confirmed on Twitter that he reached out to the mural’s organizer and had a “very positive and productive conversation.”

“He told me that they recognized the problem immediately and had a plan to solve it. He also spoke to the artist, who made it very clear that he never intended to do anything that could be viewed as hateful — but did [understands] that the outcome and impact is concern rather than intent,” he said.

As a result, the mural is being repainted today to depict a girl reading and a Jewish boy playing together.

“I believe in second chances when someone is willing to admit their mistake and learn from it. Personally, I believe he is genuinely listening and genuinely working toward a respectful resolution that we can learn from,” Matlow concluded.

Comments on Matlow’s Twitter thread were mixed, with some saying the mural absolutely crossed a line while others said the comparison was a stretch.

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