Sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents in Canada

B'nai Brith Canada reported a 26% hike in anti-Semitic incidents in the country compared to the previous year.

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The number of anti-Semitic incidents in Canada set a record in 2016, rising by 26 percent over the previous year, according to an annual audit.

In total, B’nai Brith Canada recorded 1,728 incidents nationwide last year, according to its annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents released Tuesday, compared to 1,277 incidents in 2015. The previous record was 1,627 in 2014.

The increase did not appear to have been affected by the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president, B’nai Brith Canada said.

Possible reasons for the increase, the audit reported, included Holocaust denial on social media, university campus anti-Zionism and anti-Israel sentiment found in some Arabic newspapers.

The year 2016 saw a dramatic rise in incidents involving Holocaust denial, to 20 percent from 5 percent in 2015. In addition, a new trend in Canadian anti-Semitism was found to be incitement against Jews in the mass media, especially in Arabic-language publications.

“The findings of this year’s audit – that anti-Semitism has reached a record high in Canada – demonstrate the need for real, immediate and strong action,” B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn said. “It is time to stop hoping that this problem will go away or take care of itself. It is time to deal real consequences to the purveyors of anti-Semitism, and to fight back.”

Quebec was the only province where incidents fell – to 249 in 2016 from 265 the prior year.

According to the audit, anti-Semitism has been on the rise in Canada for the past decade, with only two years logging lower figures