Anti-Semitic hate crimes in Canada increased by 63 percent in 2017.
Some 360 incidents occurred in 2017, while 221 were recorded the previous year, according to a new report by Statistics Canada.
“While we are not surprised, this number is an alarming call to action for government, police and educators especially,” said Avi Benlolo, president and CEO of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center.
“It’s disturbing to hear that hate crime continues to increase in Canada and that the Jewish community—a community that is integrated into the Canadian mosaic—is still victimized by hate crime. The sharp increase is evidence that Holocaust education and advocacy is necessary now more than ever, which is why we are proud of our work,” he added.
Anti-Semitic hate crimes consisted of 18 percent of total hate crimes in Canada, making its Jewish community the most targeted. There was a 47 percent increase overall in hate crimes in Canada, rising to 2,073 in 2017 from 1,409 the year before.
“After the attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh last month, it is time for everyone to understand that anti-Semitism is lethal,” said Benlolo.
In a survey last August, one in six Canadians express views that may be considered anti-Semitic, while on the flip side, 78 percent of Canadians believe that memories of the Holocaust memory must be kept alive.
It also discovered that around 15 percent, or 5 million, Canadians express views that can be construed as anti-Semitic.