Anti-Semitism in Canada increased just slightly between 2011 and 2012, figures released on Wednesday show.
Amidst reports of a global rise of over 30% in anti-Semitic incidents in 2012, with France showing an unprecedented increase of 58%, the Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents released by the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada announced an increase of just 3.7%, from 1,297 in 2011 to 1,345 cases in 2012.
At the same time, analysis of regional differences in Canada highlights some anomalies: the average increase for the three most western provinces combined was 25%, while in Regional Quebec (outside Montreal) there was close to a four-fold increase, the data show.
Just over half the incidents (730) took place in the province of Ontario, with the next largest number being in the province of Quebec (337).
Overall, Canada has seen a steady upward progression in anti-Semitic incidents in the past decade, the report found. From a ten-year perspective, incidents have more than doubled from the 584 cases in 2003. Since 2008 incidents have increased by 19%.
“We are particularly concerned,” stated Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, “about this year’s findings of increased participation in these incidents by perpetrators self-identifying as Muslims who are apparently supportive of Islamist ideologies of hate and violence. But we are encouraged by the many Muslims with whom we work closely, who are prepared to expose anti-Semitism in their community.”
He added, “The Audit shows an overall decrease in vandalism and violence, but an increase of 10.6% in incidents of harassment. Jews were targeted in their homes and at their workplaces, on their way to synagogue or returning from school. “
Dimant noted that Holocaust denial has soared by 77% in Canada, and that threats have become “more ugly, explicit and open.”
“The League is also warning that youth culture is being infiltrated by the lyrics of hate, extremism from abroad through online propaganda, and cyberbullying directed to a victim’s smartphone,” he added.
“The Audit has set out an Action Plan to counter hate, but it will only achieve its goals if all sectors of Canadian society work together whenever and wherever expressions of hate are brought to light,” noted Dimant.