Canadian report on anti-Semitic incidents

Anti-Semitic incidents decreased slightly in Canada in 2013 from the previous year, but cases of vandalism rose “significantly,” according to B’nai Brith Canada.

The organization’s annual audit of anti-Semitic incidents, released April 11, found there were 1,274 incidents recorded last year, a 5.3 percent decrease from 2012.

While episodes of harassment decreased to 872 from 1,013, representing a nearly 14 percent drop, acts of vandalism rose by 21.6 percent — to 388 in 2013 from 319 the prior year.

Lest “they be dismissed as trivial annoyance,” the audit noted that 113 of the 872 cases classified as harassment “involved explicit threats of violence or harm against individuals, families, businesses or institutions.”

Just over half of last year’s incidents, or 741, took place “as is the usual pattern” in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province. The next largest number, 250, was recorded in Quebec.

In cases involving vandalism, “a marked increase” was noted in the Montreal area as well as Atlantic Canada, while dropping in the western provinces.

The report noted that over the past decade, anti-Jewish incidents have increased by nearly 50 percent. — jta