Thursday, 23 May 2019 - 18 of Iyyar, 5779

Anti-Semitism becoming ‘mainstream’ in Canada

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Canada has seen a rise of anti-Semitism in all its forms online, at public protests, in politics, on university campuses and in several “brazen” public assaults.

TORONTO—The number of antisemitic incidents in Canada increased by 16.5 percent in 2018, a new study shows.

The 2018 Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents commissioned by the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada showed 2,041 incidents of antisemitism took place last year, a 16.5 percent increase from 2017.

It represents the fifth straight rise in the country.

The study  suggests that anti-Semitism “is becoming mainstream.”

‘’While final numbers for 2017 have not been compiled, there is no doubt that the five-year trend of elevated levels of anti-Semitism is continuing,” Amanda Hohman and Aidan Fishman of B’Nai Brith Canada, wrote.

They said  Canada has seen a rise of anti-Semitism in all its forms online, at public protests, in politics, on university campuses and in several “brazen” public assaults.

“Anti-Semitic incidents and attacks spanned the political spectrum, ranging from the far-right to the far-left, with significant contributions from Islamic and Arab nationalists as well,’’ they noted.

They cited a number of incidents in the report, including anti-Semitic graffiti at schools north of Toronto, several “Hitler was right” messages scrawled on Toronto-area highways, a threatening anti-Semitic message left for a Jewish family in Winnipeg on New Year’s Eve and a menacing photo mailed to 13 synagogues at Hanukkah, which carried the message “Jewry must perish!”

The report also cites a number of anti-Semitic messages at protests over U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to move his country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Hohman and Fishman also highlighted problematic incidents at McGill University, Ryerson University and McMaster University.

“All levels of government need to do better in order to stem the tide of anti-Semitism, which remains one of the most pervasive forms of hatred and discrimination in Canada,” they said.

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

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

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