Anti-Semitic acts in Canada reach an all-time high in 2014

Recorded anti-Semitic incidents reached an all-time high in Canada last year, B’nai B’rith’s annual audit shows.

The annual tally, released June 11, cited 1,627 reported anti-Semitic incidents in 2014, a 28 percent increase over the year before. The previous high was 1,345 incidents in 2012.

Most cases last year — 84 percent, or 1,370 incidents — involved harassment; there were 238 reported incidents of vandalism (15 percent) and 19 cases of incidents that involved violence (1 percent).

Reported incidents of vandalism in 2014 declined over the year before by nearly 40 percent. But cases of harassment increased by nearly 30 percent.

Overall, most incidents were in Ontario, at 961, followed by Quebec and Atlantic Canada at 259.

Canada saw “dramatic spikes” in anti-Semitic activity in July and December, coinciding with the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers and Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza. The summer incidents “mirror what has occurred in previous years when Israel is in a state of conflict,” the audit stated. The spike in December was expected, according to the audit, as white supremacist groups began their annual campaign accusing Jews of mounting an attack on Christmas. — jta