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Anti-Semitic incidents rise in Canada

JTA

April 12, 2011 | 1:34 pm

Anti-Semitism in Canada is on the rise, and much of it has gone digital, according to the latest audit by B’nai Brith Canada.

In total, 1,306 anti-Jewish incidents were reported to the human rights group in 2010—a 3.3 percent increase over the previous year.

B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights tallied 965 cases of harassment, 317 incidents of vandalism and 24 cases of violence.

“Incidents were reported across the country in synagogues, schools, playgrounds, on campus, at street rallies, sporting events, workplaces, even reaching people’s own homes,” said Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, at the release Monday of the group’s annual audit of anti-Semitic incidents.

The numbers also represent a four-fold increase over the past decade.

Dimant said the Internet has played a key role in the rise of anti-Semitic incidents. The League for Human Rights said it received 564 reports of web-based hate activity with a Canadian connection, up from 435 reports in 2009 and 405 reports in 2008.

“New technologies are giving a modern twist to age-old anti-Jewish messaging,” Dimant said. “Cyber-bullying—in this case anti-Semitic—is just one of the newest threats to society.”

Meanwhile, a junior hockey league team in Ontario alleged that its opponents in a playoff series directed an anti-Semitic slur at two Jewish players during a game Monday.

The London Nationals said that someone sitting on the bench of the St. Thomas Stars directed a reference to Hitler at Noah and Brendan Schwartz during the second period of Game 6 of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League Western Conference finals.

The Stars won the match and Game 7 the following day to become the conference champions in the hotly contested series. The team has denied making any slurs but did receive a warning from game referees, who said they would investigate the incident.

Nationals coach Tim Flynn told the London Free Press that he plans to contact the Ontario Hockey Association over the incident.

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