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Canada finds Jews were most-targeted religious minority for hate crimes in 2021

Though just 1% of the population, Jewish people were victims of 14% of reported racial incidents, a jump of 47% over the year before and reflecting global trend

Swastikas were spray-painted on Montreal's Congregation Shaar Hashomayim's front doors, Jan. 13, 2021. (Photo distributed by Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center via JTA)
Swastikas were spray-painted on Montreal's Congregation Shaar Hashomayim's front doors, Jan. 13, 2021. (Photo distributed by Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center via JTA)

MONTREAL (JTA) — Canada’s 380,000 Jews were the most targeted religious minority for hate crimes reported to police in 2021, the country’s official numbers keeper reported Tuesday.

Statistics Canada said that the Jewish community, comprising about 1% of the population, were victims of 14% of reported hate crimes. Jews saw a 47% rise in reported hate crimes compared to 2020, according to the bureau.

“We are deeply concerned that incidents of hate crimes rose yet again in Canada in 2021,” said Shimon Koffler Fogel, head of the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs. “This disturbing trend clearly proves the need for more proactive measures to stop the rising hate targeting diverse Canadians based on their identity.”

Only Black Canadians, who make up about 3.5% of the country’s population, reported more hate crimes. Overall, 1.3 Canadian Jews in every 1,000 reported being victims of hate crime in 2021.

“Statistically, Canadian Jews were more than 10 times more likely than any other Canadian religious minority to report being the target of hate crime,” Fogel said. “This is alarming.”

Canada’s official tally showed the same trend as tallies of antisemitic incidents in other countries last year.

The Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom all reported increased incidents of antisemitism, while the Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit in the United States, said it recorded more antisemitic incidents last year than at any time since it began tracking incidents in 1979.

Statistics Canada cautioned in its crime report that “fluctuations in the number of reported incidents may be attributable to a true change in the volume of hate crimes, but they might also reflect changes in reporting by the public because of increased community outreach by police or heightened sensitivity after high-profile events.”

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