Dramatic increase in antisemitism in Toronto
Source: Israel national news
According to the Toronto Police Service’s 2017 Annual Hate Crime Statistical Report, the number of hate crimes in the city jumped 28 per cent, from 145 in 2016, to 186 last year. Jews were the victims in 53 of those occurrences, or nearly 29 per cent.
“In 2017, the Jewish community, followed by the black community, the Muslim community and the LGBTQ community were the groups most frequently victimized,” the report states.
Breaking down their findings by victim groups, police reported that Jews were the most targeted group, followed by blacks and Muslims, who each experienced 33 occurrences. Next were incidents targeting individuals with multiple identities, called multi-bias occurrences, with 27, and LGBTQ with 22.
When the religious component of multi-bias crimes is included, such as victims being identified by perpetrators as both black and Jewish, or Ukrainian and Jewish, the number of Jewish victims increases to 66, or 35 per cent of all incidents.
Jews have been the single most targeted victim group in Toronto for the past decade, according to police data. The number of incidents targeting Jews increased by 23 per cent in 2017 over 2016, when Jews were the victims of 43 occurrences, or about 30 per cent.
When examining the data by type of offence, police reported that the vast majority of incidents involving Jews were mischief offences, such as graffiti on property, with 46 occurrences. There were five incidents of uttering threats to cause bodily harm or threatening death and two involving the wilful promotion of hatred.
Jewish groups lamented the regrettable status of being the single most targeted victim group. “It is appalling that, in a city as welcoming and diverse as Toronto, an antisemitic crime took place on average once a week in 2017. Behind every victim of antisemitism is a person and a family who feel the lingering impact of hate,” said Noah Shack, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs’ vice-president for the Greater Toronto Area.