Canadian Government to Hold Emergency Summit on Antisemitism, as Jew-Hatred Surges in Country

Antisemitic hatred on display at a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Toronto, Canada.

June 20, 2021

Amid rising Jew-hatred in the country, Canada’s government has announced it will convene an emergency summit on antisemitism.

The event — for which a date has not yet been set – will be led by Canadian Special Envoy for Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism Irwin Cotler.

Shimon Koffler Fogel — president and CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) — welcomed the news, stating, “Jews in Canada and around the globe are being targeted for their identity and for expressing solidarity with their fellow Jews in Israel who were under attack from Hamas, a listed terrorist organization. We have witnessed antisemitism targeting Jewish-owned businesses, in schools, in workplaces, in unions, and on our streets. Moreover, we have seen an unprecedented spike in antisemitic vitriol expressed online.”

He added that CIJA would work to ensure the summit “includes the right stakeholders at all levels of government, addresses the unique characteristics of antisemitism, and leads to a concrete plan of action that reassures Jewish Canadians that they are safe in Canada.”

An annual B’nai Brith Canada audit published in April found there were more than seven antisemitic incidents per day in Canada last year.

There were a total of 2,610 incidents in 2020 — a record-high for a fifth straight year.

This trend was only exacerbated by the surge of antisemitism that accompanied last month’s Israel-Gaza flare-up, with incidents of physical assault, vandalism, and hate speech against Jews taking place across Canada.