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2005 AUDIT
Executive Summary

On March 22, 2006 the League for Human Rights of B'nai Brith Canada released its 2005
Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, an annual study on antisemitism in this country. The Audit
discusses the data in-depth, offering additional discussion by five leading experts.

• In total, 829 incidents were reported, the second-highest number in the
twenty-three year history of the Audit. This represented a marginal decrease of
3.3% country-wide in 2005 compared to 2004, showing little tangible change
from the high level of incidents reported in the last Audit. This small decrease
does not reverse the upward trend documented over the last five years. Since
2001, the number of reported incidents has increased almost three-fold.

• The most significant numbers were once again collected in Ontario and
Quebec, where most Canadian Jews live. In Ontario, there were 544 incidents,
418 of which took place in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). In Quebec there
were 133 incidents, of which 127 took place in Greater Montreal.

• While the overall figures for 2005 showed a small decrease, there were actually
regional increases in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and the
Maritimes, as well as smaller increases in Ontario.

% increase 2004-5Province/Region Number of incidents % of 2005 total incidents
544 65.6 2.6 Ontario
-34.8 Quebec 133 16.0
27 3.3 -50.9 Manitoba
72.7 Alberta 57 6.9
7 0.8 133.3 Saskatchewan
147.1 British Columbia 42 5.1
18 2.2 28.6 Maritimes
0 Northern Region 1 0.1
829 100.0 -3.3 Total

• Both Montreal and Winnipeg showed significant decreases, though these
followed major increases reported in 2004. Even in locations where decreases
were noted, when the 2005 data is compared with figures from previous years, the
overall trend is still one of rising numbers. Both five year and ten year
comparisons from coast to coast illustrate how the baseline appears to have
shifted permanently from the numbers we were seeing in the 1990's.

• Out of the total number incidents in 2005, 531 were classified as harassment,
273 as vandalism and 25 as violence. In general, vandalism cases were down,
while harassment was up compared to 2004, but there were regional differences,
for example, in Ottawa. Violence was down from the 31 cases reported in 2004,
but in Toronto there was actually an increase from 14 to 16 cases.

• Out of the total 829 incidents, 35 were directed at synagogues and 19 at Jewish
communal buildings, 113 targeted Jewish homes, 46 occurred in the
workplace, 161 related to Internet hate - including 34 cases of targeted hate by
e-mail - there were 48 incidents against Jewish students on campus, and
another 48 involved school settings.

• A number of cases were perpetrated by those identified as being of a particular
ethnicity. 56 incidents involved persons of apparent Arab origin down from 80
last year, but this is still the largest single perpetrator group by ethnic origin,
and the 2005 figures still represent a 55% increase over the 36 incidents
recorded in 2003. Other ethnic groups involved in anti-Jewish activity were
Hungarian, Russian, Pakistani, and Chinese.

• In 2005 there were none of the major international trigger points that have
prompted spikes in antisemitic activity seen in past years. Antisemitic activity
remained a constant throughout the year, with few monthly variations. The small
decrease noted in Canada was much lower than the drop noted in France
(50%) and the UK (14.5%).

• Sociologists and police experts agree that only an estimated 10% of hate-
motivated incidents are ever reported. The League’s figures therefore represent
the tip of the iceberg in terms of hate-related activity against Canadian Jews.
The huge explosion of hate on the internet influenced the nature of many of the incidents for 2005,
with both the far right and the far left borrowing from each other's images and rhetoric. This
propaganda is influencing how Jews are viewed in society, as seen in incidents in every sector of
Canadian life. The criminal justice system appears to have abdicated responsibility for internet
hate to the human rights sector. It has also shown a more inconsistent and lenient response to hate
activity, giving the impression that anti-Jewish messaging will be tolerated. There has been a
resurgence of neo-Nazi groups operating openly in Canada, in contravention of our international
obligations, with a parallel increase in Holocaust denial, not just on hate sites but through pseudo-
academic debate on campus. Efforts continue to recruit youngsters to ideologies of hate.

• A visibly Orthodox boy was threatened by gang members while bystanders stood by
• Antisemitic comics and Holocaust denial pamphlets were found at a book sale at a local
school (St John).
• A team coach made antisemitic remarks referring to Jews as cheats and liars when speaking
to 14 and 15 year old players and parents at a hockey game (Montreal).
• A synagogue was defaced with antisemitic graffiti (Kelowna).
• Students at an exclusive high school created an antisemitic website and sent hate-filled
emails to Jewish students who dared to complain (Toronto).
• Public sites in the city were vandalized with antisemitic slogans and swastikas (Hamilton).
• Death threats were made against a Jewish community professional (Toronto)
• A bomb threat was made against a synagogue (Montreal).
• A visiting rabbi was physically assaulted as he walked along a street with his young family
• Neo-Nazi antisemitic pamphlets alleging “Jewish Supremacism Unmasked” were found on
numerous campuses (Toronto).
• Three teenage girls attacked an elderly Jewish man outside a synagogue (Winnipeg).
• Calls to a federal candidate’s campaign office demanded that Jews be barred from holding
public office (Toronto).


1. Clear guidelines need to be established in terms of laying hate crime charges, setting
bail conditions and decisions on sentencing, to ensure consistency across Canada.
2. Dedicated hate crime units should be established in all jurisdictions, supported by
sufficient personnel and resources.
3. Membership in racist groups and display of racist symbols should be criminalized, in
accordance with Canada’s international obligations.
4. The Criminal Code should be amended to include Holocaust denial as a hate crime.
5. Canadian legislation should be strengthened to increase effectiveness in countering
internet hate and to close potential loopholes that could jeopardize prosecution.
6. Funding should be directed to tracking internet hate and developing blocking software.
7. Dialogue between law enforcement officials, the government, NGOs, educators and
ISPs should be encouraged to ensure a coordinated approach to fighting internet hate.
8. The link between hate and terrorism, identified in the Zundel case, should be
recognized through new legislation criminalizing the glorification of terrorism.
9. Funding should be directed to initiatives designed to fight hatred and promote Canadian
values of tolerance and respect throughout the educational system.
10. The working definition of antisemitism adopted by the European Monitoring Centre on
Racism and Xenophobia - which recognizes both traditional and modern day
manifestations of anti-Jewish activity - should be used as a universal frame of reference
for evaluating antisemitic incidents.

The full text of the Audit can be accessed at:
League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada, 15 Hove Street, Toronto, ON M3H 4Y8 iii
Tel.: (416) 633-6224 Fax: (416) 630-2159 E-mail: Website:

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