VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Canada has set a new record for antisemitic harassment for a fourth straight year.
According to its latest audit, the Jewish advocate B’nai Brith documented more than 2,200 antisemitic incidents in Canada last year.
That’s an average of six hateful acts against Jewish people every day — an eight per cent rise from 2018.
Year-over-year rates actually dropped by double digits in western and Atlantic Canada, according to the audit.
However, Ran Ukashi, with the League for Human Rights, says that’s no reason to celebrate.
“The decreases experienced were still generally higher than the recorded incidents in the previous five years, again indicating that there is a higher baseline of antisemitic incidents across the country,” Ukashi said.
The era of physical distancing is also providing new opportunities for anti-semitic trolls.
Earlier this month, a prayer service being held over Zoom was hijacked with pornography and shouting. Toronto police are now investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
“A lot Jewish organizations and Jewish religious institutions are experienced Zoom-bombs,” Ukashi said.
“It’s quite disturbing.”
Last year also saw the rate of in-person harassment nearly double compared to 2018. Such incidents included acts of violence, such as Jewish people being spit on, verbally accosted, or mugged.
Brian Herman, with B’nai Brith Canada, says the rise in anti-Jewish sentiment is global and is even reflected in the political sphere.
“We have seen elected officials and candidates for political office celebrating and admiring members of listed terrorist entities,” he said
“And we have seen the emergency of white nationalist organizations seeking federal party status in Canada.”