B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, on Monday, April 29, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

Anti-Semitic incidents ‘skyrocket’ in B.C., audit finds

The report found nearly all the incidents in the province were fueled by online hatred

Anti-Semitic incidents have skyrocketed in B.C., especially compared to the rest of the country, according to an annual audit by B’nai Brith Canada.

The national advocacy group tracks trends in anti-Semitic hatred and found 374 reported incidents in B.C. last year, up 126.7 per cent over year before, according to a report released on Monday. Quebec and Ontario had the most incidents at 709 and 481, respectively.

The organization lists examples such as Premier John Horgan bestowing a certificate of recognition to an imam and then rescinded it after learning the man has made anti-Semitic comments, as well as swastikas and KKK markings defacing a public bus stop.

More than 2,000 cases of harassment, vandalism and violence were reported in Canada last year – an increase of 16.5 per cent. Harassment was the most prevalent form, with 80 per cent of incidents taking place on social media.

READ MORE: Canada, international allies butt heads over focus on white supremacism

“Of particular concern is the rise of anti-Semitic harassment on social media, including death threats, threats of violence and malicious anti-Jewish comments and rhetoric,” said Michael Mostyn, chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada.

“The massacre of Jewish worshippers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, just days before a Montreal man threatened online to ‘kill Jewish girls,’ shows us that some individuals sadly make good on their threats.”



joti.grewal@bpdigital.ca

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