“This is alarming:” Hate crime against Canadian Jews skyrockets

According to Statistics Canada, Jewish Canadians are the number one targeted religious minority in the country.
James Thom of Top Power Washing volunteered to remove antisemitic graffiti from the back wall of the Beth Tikvah Synagogue in North York, Canada. (Photo by Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Despite making up less than 1% of Canada’s population, hate crimes against Jewish Canadians are way up.

According to Statistics Canada, Canada’s national statistical agency, Jewish Canadians are the second most targeted group for hate crimes in the country and the number one targeted religious minority.

“Statistically, Canadian Jews were more than 10 times more likely than any other Canadian religious minority to report being the target of hate crime,” said Shimon Koffler Fogel, head of the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs. “This is alarming.”

According to the statistics agency, 2021 saw a 47% rise in reported hate crimes compared to 2020. Jewish Canadians have been number one for the last three years in terms of religious groups being targeted with hate.

There were several high profile antisemitic incidents in the country last year. After the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip several anti-Israel rallies turned antisemitic.

In Toronto the city’s Jews were warned in text messages and on social media to stay inside because alleged lynch mobs were looking for people who were Jewish. 

Also in 2021, Annamie Paul, Canada’s first member of parliament who is both Jewish and a person of color, survived an attempt to oust her from her post due to her comments calling for peace in Israel. She eventually resigned due to ongoing harassment from party members.

A string of antisemitic events happened ahead of Federal elections in 2021 as well.

It’s not just you, antisemitism is on the rise globally. Jews were the most targeted religious group in 2020 according to the FBI’s annual report on hate crimes. According to the data, approximately 60% of the religiously motivated hate crimes committed in the U.S. targeted Jews. Jews make up less than 2% of the overall population in the U.S.