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April 26, 2022 8:06 am

B’nai Brith Canada Marks Uptick in Antisemitism for Sixth Year in Row

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Skyline of Toronto, Canada. Photo Credit: Aaron Davis, Wikimedia Commons, June 2020. – For the sixth consecutive year, the number of antisemitic incidents in Canada has increased according to an audit by B’nai Brith Canada.

According to the report, a total of 2,799 incidents were recorded in 2021—up 7 percent from 2020—though officials believe that the number of cases may be even higher since not all are reported. In May 2021 alone, during the rocket barrages being launched by Hamas in the Gaza Strip into Israeli civilian populations, more than 250 instances of Jew-hatred were recorded.

“Most worrisome,” said the report about the rise in violent incidents, which went from “nine in 2020 to 75 in 2021, a stunning increase of 733.3 percent.” Vandalism accounted for more than 260 incidents with more than 2,400 reports of harassment.

While the number of antisemitic incidents in Ontario—Canada’s most-populated province—declined some 27 percent from 2020, other areas saw major increases.

In Quebec, nearly 830 antisemitic incidents were recorded in 2021, up more than 20 percent from the year before. British Columbia also counted a major increase with 409 incidents of Jew-hatred recorded in 2021, a jump of more than 110 percent in just one year.

In Alberta, antisemitic incidents rose by 55 percent, while Manitoba and Saskatchewan collectively more than doubled to 228 incidents from a total of 101.

“Despite the dismal numbers posted in 2021, there is always hope for improvement,” said Michael Mostyn, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada. “Better reporting of hate crimes and incidents, better training and resources for police departments to recognize and combat antisemitism may all make a difference if achieved.”

Marvin Rotrand, national director of B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights, noted out that “giving a higher profile to cases where perpetrators are charged and sentenced, the propagation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition, as well as more funding and resources to combat hatred, will also help us turn the tide against antisemitism and help build an inclusive country for all.”

Just last week, Ontario’s education minister announced an investment of $282,000 in Holocaust awareness and antisemitism education through the UJA Federation of Toronto’s Sarah & Chaim Neuberger Centre for Holocaust Education. The move came after several recent incidents of anti-Jewish incidents in local public schools.

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