Jerusalem Post says Canada a hotbed of anti-Semitic hatred (THE GLOBE AND MAIL) By GRAEME SMITH 12/27/02 Page A4)
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Fewer anti-Semitic incidents were reported in the last six months of
2002 than in the first half of the year, according to B´nai Brith
That didn´t stop The Jerusalem Post from labelling Canada a hotbed of
hatred yesterday in an editorial that compiled recent headlines about
a synagogue arson, the stabbing of an Orthodox Jew and a native
leader´s endorsement of the Holocaust.
B´nai Brith´s annual report in January will show roughly a 20-per-
cent increase in such incidents compared with the same six-month
period in 2001. That´s better than the 63-per-cent increase recorded
during the first half of the year, Jewish leaders say, but they add
that the overall trend is troubling.
"We´re still concerned," said Anita Bromberg, human-rights co-
ordinator for B´nai Brith´s League for Human Rights. "It´s a
significant increase this year. And there´s a trend now towards
The Jerusalem Post´s editorial, titled "Hatred in Canada," argued
that anti-Semitism in Canada "has received less global attention than
Among the recent cases alluded to by the Post -- and recorded by
B´nai Brith as anti-Semitic incidents -- were the burning of the
Anshei Minsk Synagogue in downtown Toronto and the stabbing death of
David Rosenzweig, an Orthodox Jew.
Neither incident has been declared a hate crime by police. Bruce
Kurta, a spokesman for the Canadian Jewish Congress in Ontario, said
the B´nai Brith statistics include too many such questionable reports.
"You can´t just lump them all together," Mr. Kurta said.
Ms. Bromberg agreed that not every incident recorded by B´nai Brith
would constitute a hate crime under Canadian law. But she said the
group hasn´t changed the methodology behind its annual study, which
relies on complaints of violence, harassment and vandalism received
by a telephone hot line.
Predictably, the number of calls spiked dramatically in the weeks
after Sept. 11, 2001. But an even bigger spike was recorded in April
and May of 2002, Ms. Bromberg said. Those two months accounted for
more than half of the 197 incidents from January to June.
September and October were quieter months, she said, despite the fact
that some Jews would have been celebrating the high holidays during
Complaints increased again in November and December, even before
Saskatchewan native leader David Ahenakew made a public comment
applauded Adolf Hitler for killing six million Jews.
"The numbers are back up quite a bit," Ms. Bromberg said. "We´re
seeing a spike again."
Ms. Bromberg said the number of complaints about anti-Semitism
appears to be linked with the level of tension in the Middle East.
(© 2002 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. 12/27/02)
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