Anti-Semitism In Canada, Belarus


The latest anti-Semitism study released by the League for Human Rights of B'nai Brith Canada indicates that anti-Semitic activity in Canada is still on the rise. In total, 584 incidents were reported in 2003 - the highest ever in the 21-year history of the report. This represents a dramatic rise of 27.2% countrywide compared to 2002, and more than double that of 2001. Rochelle Wilner, National President of B'nai Brith Canada, stated: "A process of desensitization, both within and outside the Jewish community, has meant that what was once seen as offensive and unacceptable is now being viewed as less serious and even routine. Visibly orthodox Jews in particular have come to view such
harassment as inevitable."

In Gomel, Belarus, members of the violent neo-Nazi group Russian National Unity (RNU) recently
distributed leaflets calling for violence against Jews. Yaakov Basin, head of the Minsk Bureau of UCSJ (Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union), reports that the leaflets, handed out to public transportation passengers, reprinted articles from a Moscow-based newspaper accusing Jews of attempting "to eradicate Christianity." The leaflets call for "the destruction of the dishonest and the fighters against God." Other excerpts: "Now is the beginning of serious hostilities. It is the Jews who are the force of evil." The walls of Jewish community centers in Gomel and Novopolotsk have been recently defaced by anti-Semitic graffiti; no arrests have been made.

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