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B'nai Brith Attacks Anti-Jewish Bias in Canada

B’nai Brith has attributed the increasingly high number of anti-Semitic incidents in Canada to “sustained undercurrent of anti-Jewish bias."
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 5/1/2012, 4:01 PM

Jews stand in front of swastika at Yad Vashem
Jews stand in front of swastika at Yad Vashem
Reuters

B’nai Brith has attributed the increasingly high number of anti-Semitic incidents in Canada to a “sustained undercurrent of anti-Jewish bias,” said an organization official.  

The League for Human Rights of B’nai Birth Canada issued a report stating that there were 1,297 anti-Semitic incidents in 2011, a “negligible decrease” of 0.7% from the previous year, The Toronto Sun reported on Sunday.

“The overreaching finding of the report demonstrates a sustained, ongoing undercurrent of anti-Jewish bias in Canada with appalling incidents of harassment, vandalism and even violence,” said Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith.

“Thirty years after the enactment of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we continue to see rocks being thrown at synagogue and school windows, death threats being sent via social media, visible Jews being taunted and physically being assaulted on route to their homes or places of worship and even a young Jewish girl’s hair being set on fire,” he added.

Since the League began documenting anti-Semitism 30 years ago, the number of hate crimes against Jews has increased more than 20-fold, and officials maintain that not all incidents are reported.

“When Statistics Canada finds that yet again the Jewish community is the most targeted minority in the hate crimes motivated by religion, we should be asking why,” Dimant continued. “We cannot simply stand by passively when death threats are dismissed as insignificant, when targeting Jewish homes is described as just kids hanging out, and when physical assaults are subsequently boasted about on Facebook.”

The report recommends making funds available in order to educate police and Crown prosecutors about hate crimes.

“There is no silver bullet to wipe out anti-Semitism, but we need to make sure antisemitism stays on the radar and public education will be key to success,” said Marvin Kurz, a lawyer with B’nai Brith.