According to an annual report released by B'nai Brith Canada's League for Human Rights on Tuesday, anti-Semitism in Canada is at its worst point in more than two decades. A total of 857 incidents were reported in 2004, nearly 47 percent more than the previous year, according to the report. It also said that the number of incidents had increased more than three-fold since 2000.
Dimant believes the real number of anti-Semitic incidents could be even 10 times higher, saying that the vast majority go unreported. While most of the incidents in 2004 were "merely" cases of harassment, the report noted that the greatest increases were registered in vandalism and violent attacks.
Synagogues were targeted 74% more often than in 2003. Cemetery desecrations increased more than 300%. As in Western Europe, Canada has seen a dramatic increase in anti-Semitic attacks carried out by Arab immigrants.
"Kill the Jews" graffiti scrawled in a university library in Hamilton is but one example of anti-Semitic incidents that are multiplying on campuses across Canada. Jewish students were now very afraid, Dimant said, because the "atmosphere has been poisoned."
What's worse, he added, is that university authorities refused to admit they have a problem. "Some have told us, 'You have to expect a little bit of anti-Semitism,'" Dimant said. "But why? Why do we have to tolerate any anti-Semitism?"
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