Antisemitic Harassment on the Upswing in Canada: B’nai Brith Audit

(May 3, 2016) – There has been a general increase of harassment toward Jewish people in Canada during the past five years, B’nai Brith Canada reports in its latest Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents.

The harassment has especially grown on social media, with a rise of targeted attacks against Jewish individuals. While the overall harassment figures have decreased since the precedent-setting year of 2014, which included an active conflict between Israel and the terror group Hamas, antisemitism continues to be an issue of concern in Canada.

“B’nai Brith has received reports of between 1,000 and 1,200 verified antisemitic incidents in Canada every year for the past 10 years,” said Steven Slimovitch, national legal counsel for B’nai Brith Canada. “This is not a problem that’s going away.”

A total of 1,277 antisemitic incidents in Canada met the criteria for inclusion in B’nai Brith’s latest audit.

While reports of antisemitic vandalism overall in Canada have decreased, the trend was significantly different in Quebec, where vandalism rose by 30 per cent.  Antisemitic violence has decreased slightly in Canada, but it is extremely troubling that children were targets in 30 per cent of those that did occur. One such attack on a Jewish child in Toronto resulted in the need for medical attention.

This year’s audit is dedicated by B’nai Brith to Edmonton Hate-Crimes Officer Constable Daniel Woodall, who was killed in the line of duty last June while responding to a call of antisemitic threats. In honour of Constable Woodall’s memory, B’nai Brith will be making a donation toward a scholarship for his children.

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