B'nai Brith releases audit on anti-Semitism in Canada

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B'nai Brith Canada says its latest annual audit of anti-Semitic incidents across Canada shows that there is still a very real problem in this country and elsewhere.

The report, compiled from complaints made to various organizations and police, lists almost 1,300 cases of harassment, vandalism and violence directed against Jews in 2013.

B'nai Brith says harassment is down but vandalism is up 20 per cent, violence by eight per cent.

Even if the overall numbers are down from 2012, Steven Slimovitch of B'nai Brith's Quebec branch says there has been a worrying upward trend in anti-Semitism since 2003.

He says there were 126 cases of harassment, just over 100 cases of vandalism and three cases of violence.

"But raw numbers don't mean a heck of a lot," he says. "What is far more relevant are trends, and what's much more relevant are long-term trends. And when we look at the 10-year trend, the situation is atrocious."

He says anti-Semitic acts have seen a big jump since 2003.

Slimovitch adds that the face of anti-Semitism is changing as well: fewer people say they specifically dislike Jews.

Instead, they say, they choose to criticize Israel or deny its right to exist.

He calls that "disguised anti-Semitism."

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