(JNS.org) A new annual report from the B’nai B’rith organization has found that anti-Semitic incidents in 2016 hit a record high in Canada.
The report said last year saw a 26-percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents from the previous year, and a 6-percent increase from the previous high in 2014. In total, there were 1,728 incidents in 2016, up for 1,277 in 2015. The figures mark the continuation of a pattern of rising anti-Semitism in Canada during the past decade, with only two years producing lower figures than the year before, the report found.
“The findings of this year’s audit—that anti-Semitism has reached a record high in Canada—demonstrate the need for real, immediate and strong action,” said B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn. “It is time to stop hoping that this problem will go away, or take care of itself. It is time to deal real consequences to the purveyors of anti-Semitism, and to fight back.”
The report noted the rise in anti-Semitism was not tied to the election of U.S. President Donald Trump. According to the report, anti-Semitic incidents before and immediately after the 2016 election actually showed a decrease relative to previous years.
Additionally, 2016 saw a dramatic rise of incidents involving Holocaust denial. In 2015, Holocaust denial only made up 5 percent of anti-Semitic incidents in Canada, while in 2016 the number soared to 20 percent. According to B’nai Brith, this rise likely materialized under “the pretext of ‘free speech’ and the campaign that promotes Holocaust denial and other forms of anti-Semitism under the guise of anti-Zionism.”
Finally, the report found a “frightening” trend of media incitement against Canadian Jews, especially in Arabic-language publications.