TORONTO (JTA) — Stubbornly high levels of anti-Semitic incidents in Canada show a "sustained undercurrent of anti-Jewish bias" in the country, B’nai Brith Canada said.
B’nai Brith Canada’s annual audit of anti-Semitic incidents, released April 30, show there were 1,297 anti-Jewish occurrences in 2011 — a "negligible decrease" of 0.7 percent, or nine cases, from 2010.
It was the first time in the last few years that the audit did not reflect an increase in anti-Semitic incidents over the previous 12 months.
Of last year’s reported incidents, 916 were cases of harassment, a decrease of 5 percent over the year before; 362 involved vandalism, up by 14.2 percent; and 19 cases of violence were reported, down from 24 in 2010. Reports of web-based hate were down to 528 from 568.
Despite the marginal decrease last year, the past decade has seen an almost threefold increase in anti-Semitic incidents, B’nai Brith said.
Two regions in Canada experienced increases in anti-Semitic incidents. There were 303 incidents reported in Montreal, a 9.4 per cent rise over 2010; and in Manitoba, there were 78 such cases last year, compared to 60 in 2010.
B’nai Brith and other groups monitoring racist behavior believe that as many as one-third of all hate crimes go unreported.
Last month, Statistics Canada reported that in 2010, more than half of the 204 hate crimes prompted by religion were against Jews, though it represented a decline of 38 percent.
Despite the findings, Canada is still "one of the best places in the world for Jews," said B’nai Brith Canada CEO Frank Dimant.