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More Than Seven Antisemitic Incidents Per Day in Canada Last Year, Annual Audit Reveals

Swastikas spray-painted on a Montreal-area synagogue.

April 28, 2021

There were more than seven antisemitic incidents per day in Canada in 2020, a new annual audit published this week found.

Data compiled by B’nai Brith Canada’s advocacy arm, the League for Human Rights, showed a record-high level of recorded antisemitic incidents in the country for a fifth straight year, with an 18.3% rise from 2019.

There were a total of 2,610 incidents in 2020, the third consecutive year the 2,000 plateau was crossed.

“As Canadians spent much of 2020 under pandemic restrictions and lockdown, antisemitism did not take the year off,” B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn commented. “Though physical attacks decreased last year, online hate continues to skyrocket, particularly during a year that, more than ever, forced many of us to interact virtually rather than in-person.”

Notable incidents of antisemitism in Canada last year included, among others: a pellet gun shooting; a Jew being spat on and called a “dirty Jew” by a passerby; a random attack on an observant Jew in Toronto by an assailant who smacked him in the face while shouting “F— Jews and f— the State of Israel”; the desecration of a Montreal-area synagogue; several occurences of mezuzahs being ripped off the doorposts of homes across the country; a kindergarten in Toronto being defaced with a swastika and “Heil Hitler” graffiti; and multiple instances of “Zoom-bombing” of online Jewish events.

The full Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents can be viewed here.