Anti-Semitic incidents in Canada hold steady despite drop in hate crimes

Government statistics show Jews remain most frequently targeted minority group

A Canadian flag flies in the wind  in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on July 25, 2016.  (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images/JTA)
A Canadian flag flies in the wind in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on July 25, 2016. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images/JTA)

Despite a significant reduction in the overall tally of hate crimes, Canada’s latest hate crimes report reveals “disturbing trends” for Jews, the country’s largest Jewish advocacy organization announced on Monday.

Citing newly released government hate crimes statistics, the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs noted that while incidents targeting Muslims and black Canadians dipped by 50 and 12 percent, respectively, in 2018, those against Jews only fell by 4%.

The figures came after several years of significant increases in the number of incidents targeting Jews. The Jewish community remains the most frequently targeted group when it comes to hate crimes, with an incident taking place roughly every 24 hours, the CIJA said in a statement.

“We are encouraged to see an overall decline in hate crimes, though a single such incident against any community is one too many,” said CIJA president Shimon Koffler Fogel.

Despite a significant reduction in the rate of hate crimes against other minorities, incidents targeting Jews have remained relatively stable. (Courtesy CIJA)

“It is deeply concerning that, despite a decline in hate crime generally, incidents targeting Jews remained relatively stable after a sharp spike in 2017. While most Canadians reject antisemitism, this data confirms the persistence of Jew hatred – which is seeing an alarming global rise.”

The word “Jew” is seen spray-painted in the parking lot of the BerMax Caffe and Bistro in Winnipeg, Canada. (Screen capture: CTV News Winnipeg)

In December, Statistics Canada reported that the number of hate crimes reported to police in Canada jumped by 47% in 2017 from the previous year, targeting mostly Muslim, Jewish or black people. Hate crimes against Jews rose 63% to 360, while those targeting blacks increased by 50% to 321.

Property crimes played the biggest role in the increase, while violent hate crimes grew by 25%, it said.

In 2016, Jews were victimized 221 times, up from 178 the previous year, a rise of more than 20%.

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