Press Release: CIJA Urges Action in Response to Spike in Antisemitic Hate Crimes
Toronto, ON – The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) called on federal officials to take action following today’s report by Statistics Canada, which revealed a sharp rise in police-reported hate crimes.
The report showed that hate crimes against the Jewish community rose by more than 60 percent between 2016 and 2017. While the Jewish community remained the most frequently targeted group (in both absolute and per capita terms), hate crimes against the Muslim, Black, Arab or West Asian, and LGBTQ+ communities all rose.
Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of CIJA, stated:
“While most Canadians reject antisemitism and all forms of bigotry, we are alarmed to see yet another spike in hate crimes against the Jewish community and other groups in Canada. It is disturbing to think an antisemitic hate crime takes place every 24 hours in our country. History demonstrates that those who target Jews and other minorities pose a threat to society as a whole. All Canadians should be vigilant in standing against hate.
“In the wake of this report, we are reiterating our call on the Government of Canada to take three key steps to combat hate. First, we are grateful that the Prime Minister announced he will enhance the Security Infrastructure Program. We urge the government to expand it to cover training costs, especially given that emergency training saved lives during the Pittsburgh synagogue attack. Second, we need a national strategy to combat online hate. Experience shows that vicious rhetoric online can fuel and foreshadow violence offline. Third, the federal government should strengthen the capacity of law enforcement to combat hate crime. This should include enhancing legal tools to deal with hate speech and supporting the creation of local hate crime units where they are lacking.”
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)
is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada