Canada's Jews Are Most Targeted Religious Minority for Hate Crimes, Figures Show

Jews saw a 47 percent rise in reported hate crimes in 2021 compared to 2020, according to Statistics Canada, showing the same trend as tallies of antisemitic incidents in other countries last year

JTA
David Lazarus
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A police officer in Ottawa, Canada, in June.
A police officer in Ottawa, Canada, in June.Credit: BLAIR GABLE/ REUTERS
JTA
David Lazarus

Canada’s 380,000 Jews were the most targeted religious minority for hate crimes reported to police in 2021, the country’s official numbers keeper reported Tuesday.

Statistics Canada said that the Jewish community, comprising about 1 percent of the population, were victims of 14 percent of reported hate crimes. Jews saw a 47 percent rise in reported hate crimes compared to 2020, according to the bureau.

“We are deeply concerned that incidents of hate crimes rose yet again in Canada in 2021,” said Shimon Koffler Fogel, head of the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs. “This disturbing trend clearly proves the need for more proactive measures to stop the rising hate targeting diverse Canadians based on their identity.”

Only Black Canadians, who make up about 3.5 percent of the country’s population, reported more hate crimes. Overall, 1.3 Canadian Jews in every 1,000 reported being victims of hate crime in 2021.

“Statistically, Canadian Jews were more than 10 times more likely than any other Canadian religious minority to report being the target of hate crime,” Fogel said. “This is alarming.”

Canada’s official tally showed the same trend as tallies of antisemitic incidents in other countries last year. The Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom all reported increased incidents of antisemitism, while the Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit in the United States, said it recorded more antisemitic incidents last year than at any time since it began tracking incidents in 1979.

Statistics Canada cautioned in its crime report that “fluctuations in the number of reported incidents may be attributable to a true change in the volume of hate crimes, but they might also reflect changes in reporting by the public because of increased community outreach by police or heightened sensitivity after high-profile events.”

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