Dramatic increase in anti-Semitic incidents in B.C.: B'Nai Brith
CTV News Vancouver
Published Monday, April 29, 2019 1:52PM PDT
B.C. experienced a huge rise in anti-Semitic incidents over the past year, according to an audit by B'Nai Brith Canada.
In its annual audit, the organization says B.C. experienced a 126.7 per cent increase in anti-Semitic incidents from 2017.
Harassment was the chief concern in B.C. this past year with 368 reported incidents, accounting for 98 per cent of anti-Semitic incidents in the province.
There was also six cases of reported anti-Semitic violence.
Canada as a whole saw 2,041 recorded incidents of hatred towards Jews, up 16 per cent from 2017.
"We are experiencing a disturbing new normal when it comes to antisemitism in this country, with expressions of anti-Jewish hatred surfacing in regions that are typically less prone to such prejudices," said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada, in a release.
The group pointed to incidents of swastika and references to the Ku Klux Klan appearing on bus stops in B.C.
But of chief concern to the organization is the rise of online harassment, with 80 per cent of incidents taking on social media platforms and through email.
"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 Mostyn.
B'Nai Brith called on the federal government to incorporate steps from its eight-point plan to tackle anti-Semitism, which includes adopting a national action plan and developing an action plan on countering online hate.