Anti-Semitism in Canada breaks record for third straight year

Canada experienced a 16.5 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents over the previous year.

By World Israel News Staff 

For the third consecutive year, records were set in 2018 for anti-Semitism in Canada, according to figures published by B’nai Brith Canada’s advocacy arm, the League for Human Rights.

A 16.5 percent increase is reported over the previous year, says the organization.

Incidents of anti-Semitism included a group of teens shooting lit fireworks at Hasidic Jews in Boisbriand, Quebec; two Saskatchewan elementary school students harassed and beaten by their peers; a group of Orthodox students in Toronto assaulted on the streets; a Winnipeg high school student mocked for her ‘Jewish nose”; a Manitoba woman told “you Jews deserve to die” in an anonymous phone call; and, a 13-year-old Toronto student harassed by a peer who threatened to “shoot up a Jewish school” and told her to “go back into the ovens.”

Harassment was the most dominant form of anti-Semitic expression in 2018, with a 28.4 percent increase compared with 2017 – representing a 61.5 percent increase since 2015, according to the report.

Eighty percent of incidents reportedly took place via online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, email, and others.

“We are experiencing a disturbing new normal when it comes to anti-Semitism in this country, with expressions of anti-Jewish hatred surfacing in regions that are typically less prone to such prejudices,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada.

“Of particular concern is the rise of anti-Semitic harassment on social media, including death threats, threats of violence, and malicious anti-Jewish comments and rhetoric,” he added.

According to the data, a majority of incidents took place in Ontario and Quebec, which experienced a 49.6 percent increase compared with 2017. However, a significant uptick was reported in the provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, as well as parts of Atlantic Canada.

B’nai Brith says it is urging government officials to incorporate the steps outlined in the organization’s “Eight-Point Plan to Tackle Anti-Semitism.” It includes bolstering hate-crime units with police forces, a no-tolerance approach to public funding of anti-Jewish events, provincial government action against anti-Semitism on campus, and the adoption of a national action plan for anti-Semitism.