Anti-Semitism on the rise in Manitoba and Saskatchewan: study

B'nai Brith Canada Chief Executive Officer Michael Mostyn speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday April 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Anti-Semitism is on the rise in the prairies, according to an audit by a Jewish-Canadian human rights advocacy group.

The League for Human Rights, an offshoot of B’nai Brith Canada, found that 2018 was a record-setting year for incidents of anti-Semitic harassment, vandalism and violence across the country, with Manitoba and Saskatchewan experiencing the highest uptick.

The group’s Annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents – first issued almost four decades ago – shows an increase of 142.6 per cent over the previous year in the two provinces.

Local incidents documented in the report included a Winnipeg high school student being mocked for her relatives dying in the Holocaust, as well as a Jewish community centre receiving a flyer that said “Death to the Jewish parasite.”

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“We are experiencing a disturbing new normal when it comes to anti-Semitism in this country, with expressions of anti-Jewish hatred surfacing in regions that are typically less prone to such prejudices,” said B’nai Brith Canada’s Michael Mostyn.

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“Of particular concern is the rise of anti-Semitic harassment on social media, including death threats, threats of violence and malicious anti-Jewish comments and rhetoric.”

Canada-wide, the study found, these types of incidents were up by 16.5 per cent over the previous year, with harassment far outpacing violence and vandalism, although cases of both continue to affect Canada’s Jewish community.

B’nai Brith said it’s encouraging governments to follow steps outlined in a plan to tackle anti-Semitism, including an increase in police resources for hate-crime units and the adoption of a national action plan to counter anti-Semitism.

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WATCH: Winnipeg’s Jewish community rallies against recent threats

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Winnipeg’s Jewish community rallies against recent threats

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