Anti-Semitic incidents in Canada reach record high


TORONTO (JTA) — Anti-Semitic incidents in Canada rose to record levels, according to B’nai Brith Canada’s annual audit.

The yearly survey released Wednesday showed an 11.4 percent increase in incidents in 2009 over the previous year to reach the highest number ever reported in the audit’s 28-year history.

There were 1,264 anti-Jewish incidents last year, which encompassed acts of harassment, vandalism and violence. That compares to 1,135 incidents in 2008, and represents a five-fold increase over the last decade, B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights said.

The highest number of incidents for the year, 209, occurred in January, coinciding with Israel’s war in Gaza, noted Frank Dimant, executive vice president of B’nai Brith Canada.

Last year in Canada saw 884 cases of harassment, 348 of vandalism and a doubling from 2008 of acts of violence, at 32.

The majority of incidents, 672, occurred in Ontario. That represents a slight drop over 2008 of 1.5 percent, while incidents in the Greater Toronto Area decreased by 11 percent. However, incidents in other parts of Ontario rose by nearly 50 percent.

There were 373 incidents in Quebec, a 52.5 percent rise over the 2008 data. Of these, 319 incidents took place in Montreal, representing an increase of 58.7 percent over the year before.

Nationally there were 111 incidents targeting Jews in their own homes, compared to 105 in 2008, and 137 incidents on university campuses, well above the 76 reported in 2008.

Another spike in incidens occurred just before Yom Kippur, when 10 synagogues were vandalized across the country, including four in Quebec on one night.

Dimant specifically cited an Islamic community newspaper, which accused Jews and Israelis of mass organ trafficking.

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