B’nai Brith Canada released its annual Audit of Antisemitic incidents in Canada on April 25.
Here are some excerpts from the report: “B’nai Brith Canada’s 2020 Audit of Antisemitic incidents reported a shocking 18% increase from the previous year in hate crimes against Jews. The Audit called the year “tumultuous.”
“Few anticipated that 2021 would eclipse that sombre record of antisemitic incidents observed just the year before. Unhappily, B’nai Brith is reporting 2799 incidents in 2021, representing a 7.2% increase over 2020.
“However, B’nai Brith cautions that even these numbers may be a significant undercount of incidents in 2021.
“A notable example is that during the Hamas - Israeli conflict in May, there were several large anti-Israel rallies held in Canada.
“However, unless there was video evidence of individuals engaging in violent activities, documented arrests connected to the targeting of Jews or a clear ability to identify distinct individuals engaged in harassment or vandalism, then any incidents reported to our anti-hate hotline without corroboration were not included in this Audit.
“Despite this prudent methodology, antisemitic incidents rose for the sixth year in a row.
“Most worrisome is that violent incidents rose from nine in 2020 to 75 in 2021, a stunning increase of 733.3%...
“In 2017, B’nai Brith logged 1,752 antisemitic incidents. Five years later, the number had increased to 2,799 incidents, representing a 59.8% rise from 2017.
“In response to the threats and violence in cities across Canada during May, the government convened a virtual “National Summit on Antisemitism,” seating important decision-makers from the political level, law enforcement, the civil service, and Jewish organizations - at the same table, to grapple with the dramatic rise in antisemitism…
“Although there were fewer incidents aimed at Muslims, Catholics or other religious groups in 2020 than in 2019, the number of incidents targeting Jews grew from 306 in 2019 to 321 in 2020.
“Jews comprise only 1.25% of Canada’s population but in 2020, Statistics Canada noted that Jews were targeted in a dramatic 61% of all police reported hate incidents against religious minorities.
“The geographical distribution of hate aimed at Jews changed in 2021. Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, experienced a large decline of reported incidents of 27.3% from 2020. Ontario represents 38.5% of Canada’s population (2021 census figures) but logged only 29.3% of all reported incidents aimed at Jews. On the other hand, Quebec logged 828 antisemitic incidents – a jump of 20.7% from 2020.
“There was also a major increase in reports from Western Canada. British Columbia recorded 409 incidents in 2021, up from 194 in 2020, or a 110.8% increase. Alberta’s cases of antisemitic incidents rose by 55.8% while Manitoba and Saskatchewan collectively had increases from 101 to 228 incidents or a 125.7% annual increase…
“There were some changes in patterns. Covid quarantine restrictions including lockdowns appear to have caused the number of cases of in-person harassment to decline significantly. These cases dropped from 620 in 2020 to 367 in 2021 or a 40.8% decline. However, that lack of direct contact may have been a factor in the jump in cases of online hate.
“In fact, online hate has become the preferred method of targeting Jews. B’nai Brith logged 2,093 incidents of online hate, or an increase of 12.3% over the 2020 figures of 1,863 cases.
“B’nai Brith’s tracking indicates that online hate incidents have doubled over the past five years.”