Vancouver Jewish Community concerned by rise in antisemitic hate incidents

(Vancouver, BC – January 16, 2024) – At a press conference today, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) revealed that the Vancouver Jewish community experienced a 62 percent increase in police-reported antisemitic hate incidents in 2023 compared to 2022.

33 of 47 incidents targeting the Jewish community occurred after the October 7 terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas.

“These numbers show the public what our community already knows,” said Nico Slobinsky, Vice President Pacific Region, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA). “When an antisemitic incident occurs every two and a half days, it negatively affects how Jewish community members feel in public, at work, and our communal spaces.”

The VPD has investigated 50 criminal offences connected to the October 7 terrorist attacks and ensuing conflict, which has led to nine people charged in connection to 11 incidents. There have been 80 protests associated with the conflict, which has resulted in 1,800 overtime shifts at a cost of $2.5 million, or 62.5 percent of the $4 million in overtime costs related to all protests.

“We thank the VPD for stepping up during this challenging time for our community,” said Slobinsky. “We know that this comes at significant cost, and we therefore call on all levels of government to ensure that the VPD and other police forces have the resources required to ensure that the Jewish – and all other affected communities – can live safely.”

CIJA continues to ask the B.C. government to provide additional resources to strengthen existing hate crime units and provide funds to establish them where they do not yet exist.

“The BC government has provided our community with resources such as mandatory Holocaust education in the K-12 curriculum, the racist incident helpline, and the Anti-Hate Community Support Fund,” said Slobinsky. “However, we know that more can always be done, which is why we will continue to educate our elected leaders about measures that will make life safer for all diverse communities in Vancouver and B.C.”

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