Wave of Hatred Targeted at Jewish Community Prompts Additional Investments
Ottawa, ON – December 19, 2023 – Today the Government of Canada announced an additional investment of $5 million in the Security Infrastructure Program (SIP), marking a total of $10 million of new investments in the program that seeks to assist communities dealing with a historic rise in hatred against the Jewish community in Canada since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, 2023.
The last wave of investments in SIP saw several changes, including the temporary expansion of the program to cover new sites, such as office spaces and daycares, that are clearly linked to communities at risk of hate-motivated crime, as well as to cover costs associated with time-limited security guards.
“Jews in Canada have seen an unrelenting wave of antisemitism since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7th,” said Shimon Koffler Fogel, President and CEO, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA). “Anti-Israel demonstrations have veered into antisemitic acts perpetrated against Canada’s Jewish community, with threats against Jewish Community Centres, Jewish schools, and Jewish-owned businesses becoming regular events for many within the community.”
“The expanded funding for SIP is in direct response to the unrelenting tsunami of hatred being expressed to and the threats directed at the Jewish community. Today’s investments are, unfortunately, a necessary step to help the Jewish community protect itself against all-time rise in threats.”
Today’s additional investment is welcome and demonstrates the need to address the rising incidents of antisemitic violence Jewish Canadians face, especially in the wake of Hamas’ attack on Israel. To face the rising threat level and the targeting of Jewish Canadians, CIJA recommends the Government make several public policy changes to protect Canada’s Jewish community and strengthen safety measures for all vulnerable communities in Canada.
Other immediate priorities include:
- Improving the collection and reporting of hate crime data, with more frequent, more consistent, and more detailed releases of statistics
- Creating a National Advisory Board on Community Security, with representatives from various vulnerable communities
- Tabling the long-awaited legislation to fight online hate to fight the online radicalization targeting the Jewish community
- Launching a national social media literacy campaign
CIJA continues to call for the streamlining of SIP to ensure that existing community networks and resources are able to access the full extent of government support. CIJA calls for additional improvements to the SIP program, including updating its terms of reference so larger organizations can apply for SIP funding on a community or regional basis and provide security resources, infrastructure, and training for smaller, organizations with similar mandates. This would allow existing networks within the Jewish community, and within other impacted communities, to use SIP funding more efficiently and support the hundreds of smaller institutions that lack capacity to apply for grants, while decreasing the number of individual applications that the government has to process at any one time.
“CIJA’s proposed policy changes will make Canada safer for all targeted, equity-deserving groups in Canada,” said Fogel. “We are stronger when we work together to fight hate, in whatever form it takes. No Canadian should feel targeted because of who they are.”
- CIJA policy asks related to fighting antisemitism:
- Modernizing the Federal Security Infrastructure Program
- Protect the Jewish Community
- Fight online hate and radicalization
- Launch a national social media literacy campaign
- Close the legal gap on hate speech
- Statistics Canada: Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2022
- Press Release: In 2022, Jews remain most targeted religious group for hate crime in Canada, second overall
- Jews in Canada represent only one percent of the population yet are victims of 67 percent of all religiously motivated hate incidents and 14 percent of overall reported hate crimes.
- The Jewish community was targeted in 502 reported hate crime incidents – that’s more than one incident of Jew-hatred per day in 2022.
- The Jewish community was the most targeted religious minority, accounting for 67 percent of religiously motivated hate.
- While religiously motivated hate crimes overall were down 15 percent year over year, hate crime targeting the Jewish community increased 2 percent between 2021 and 2022.
- Anti-Jewish hate crime has increased 52 percent since 2020.
- Press Release: Top Jewish Advocacy Organizations Form J7 Global Task Force to Fight Antisemitism
- Press Release: 2021 - Jews Remain Most Targeted Religious Group for Hate Crime in Canada
- Press Release: 2020 Hate Crime Data Reveals Jews Most Targeted Religious Group
- Not all hate crimes or incidents of antisemitism are reported or recorded. Not all incidents meet the threshold of a crime, especially in schools, so national hate crime statistics do not accurately reflect the total number of antisemitic incidents.
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