MONTREAL (JTA) — Canada experienced a record number of anti-Semitic incidents for the fourth straight year – and they’re becoming more violent.
According to the annual audit by B’nai Brith Canada, the 2,206 reported incidents in 2019 represented an 8% increase over the previous year. The Jewish community remained the most targeted religious minority in Canada.
Violent incidents in ’19 rose by 27%. They included Hasidic children sprayed with tar by construction workers in Montreal and Toronto-area Orthodox Jews being assaulted.
Among the overall incidents, Ontario saw a 62.8% increase and Quebec was up 12.3%. Areas outside those provinces, however, saw declines.
The coronavirus is only making Jew-hatred worse, according to Ran Ukashi, the director of the B’nai Brith League for Human Rights. Ukashi spoke of “utterly false” notions that Israel developed the COVID-19 virus to boost the pharmaceutical industry and that Orthodox Jews are deliberately spreading the virus.
“That’s the nature of the anti-Semitic activity that we are hearing regarding the alleged culpability of Jews in COVID-19,” B’nai Brith CEO Michael Mostyn said.
The audit noted that last year, the Canadian government adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism.