Latest News

Slight Decline in Antisemitic Incidents Far From Reassuring

Cliquez ici pour le français

April 17, 2023

OTTAWA – There was a slight decrease of 1.1% in antisemitic incidents in Canada in 2022.

The decline, however, is far from reassuring. As revealed in the latest edition of B’nai Brith Canada’s Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, unveiled this morning at a press conference in Ottawa, the level of hate against Jewish Canadians continued to be unacceptably high.

In 2012, the Jewish community sounded the alarm when our Audit documented 1,345 antisemitic incidents, the highest since we first began auditing in 1982. A decade later, in 2022, the number was an alarming 105.9% higher than that reported in 2012, and the second-highest total since B’nai Brith started tracking antisemitic incidents in Canada 41 years ago.

Only in 2021 did the Audit record more antisemitic incidents in this country. There were 2,799 incidents in 2021 compared with 2,769 incidents in 2022.

“We are alarmed and disturbed by the figures in this Audit,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “Although there was an almost-insignificant decrease from last year, antisemitic incidents continue to occur at an unacceptable and dangerous pace. Frankly, the amount of hate directed at Jewish Canadians is shameful.

“B’nai Brith Canada vehemently opposes all forms of hate, racism and bigotry, but painfully recognizes that the elevated level of hate against Jews in this country remains constant.”

B’nai Brith’s Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, which tracks and monitors trends in antisemitic hatred, is the authoritative document on the state of anti-Jewish bigotry in Canada, cited regularly by media, law-enforcement agencies, government bodies and human-rights agencies worldwide.

The Audit is compiled annually by B’nai Brith Canada’s advocacy arm, the League for Human Rights. Marvin Rotrand, National Director of the League, is deeply concerned about online antisemitism.

“The nature of antisemitism has changed,” Rotrand said. “Social media is the largest medium for antisemitic narratives, giving purveyors of hate a global audience and limitless reach. Canada’s laws have failed to keep pace with the explosion of antisemitism online. We need changes in the law to blunt this threat.”

The 2022 Audit found:

  • A total of 2,769 antisemitic incidents, the second-highest recorded by B’nai Brith since it began auditing in Canada in 1982;
  • Nearly eight antisemitic incidents daily;
  • More than 74% of the incidents occurred online;
  • A total of 404 acts of antisemitic vandalism, up from 264 incidents in 2021.
  • A spike of 64.8% in antisemitic incidents in Ontario compared with 2021.

Ontario was the only province to experience an increase in antisemitism in 2022.

Some notable antisemitic incidents in Canada last year:

  • In Toronto, protestors called for the destruction of Israel, the world’s sole Jewish state;
  • In Thornhill, Ont., Neo-Nazi graffiti, swastikas and “zieg heil” were spotted on signs at a park;
  • In Calgary, a young Jewish hockey player was harassed by his teammates on three separate occasions. The incidents included the teammates asking, “Shouldn’t you have a star on your arm?” and saying, “The shower smells like Auschwitz.”;
  • In Moncton, antisemitic graffiti was found in a school bathroom, reading: “No Jews – None at all.”;
  • In Richmond, B.C., graffiti was found at a train station, reading: “Jewish communism is upon us” and “Covid is Jewish.”;
  • In Vancouver, a therapist received a threatening email saying: “I hope the next time you visit Israel, a Hamas rocket flattens you like the Zionist pig you are.”;
  • In Winnipeg, threatening graffiti was discovered at a college, reading: “Kill Jews” with a drawing of a swastika;
  • In Montreal, a man leaving an Israel Day rally holding a folded Israeli flag was assaulted by two young men, who hit the man in the head with a stick and assaulted a bystander who attempted to intervene.

For more details, please CLICK HERE to read B’nai Brith Canada’s 2022 Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents.