Toronto (June 17, 2020) – The Jewish community once again remains the group most victimized by hate crimes in Toronto, according to a Toronto Police Service hate crime report that will be presented this week.
The 2019 Annual Hate Crimes Statistical Report reveals that 32% of the 139 hate crimes in Toronto last year targeted the Jewish community, even though the community accounts for 4% of the city’s population. In addition to the 44 hate incidences directed at Jews last year in Toronto, the report also notes another five hate crimes targeting Israelis specifically as well as eight “multi-bias” hate crimes that included anti-Jewish sentiment.
According to the report, the number of arrests related to hate crimes increased from 18 in 2018 to 23 in 2019. The most prevalent offences were mischief to property, assault and utterance of threats.
“The numbers released by Toronto Police speak for themselves. Year after year, the Jewish community – a very small part of Toronto’s population – remains the target of overwhelming and heinous acts of hate,” said Rabbi Meyer May, Executive Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “With all the legitimate conversations surrounding racism today, we dare not forget that antisemitism is the world’s oldest hate and must be challenged vigorously whenever and wherever it raises its ugly head.”
“This report is clear evidence that there is much more work that needs to be done in our society to address antisemitism and other forms of hatred,” said Jaime Kirzner-Roberts, Director of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Campaign Against Antisemitism. “Every year, the Jewish community remains the most targeted group when it comes to hate crimes, whether it’s graffiti involving swastikas and antisemitic slurs or online hate speech. We call on leaders in our city – including in law enforcement, government and education – to recognize the urgent need to fight antisemitism and hate in our city and take strong, decisive action to help ensure the safety and security of our community.”