There are lists we may rightly aspire to top while there are others that are less appealing. In a sad mirror of an increasing number of global regions the release of the 2014 Toronto Police Service’s annual Hate/Bias Crime Statistical Report found that hate crimes reported to police went up by 11 per cent over 2013 and that Jews were the single most targeted group in Toronto. Though comprising only 3.8 per cent of the city’s population, Jews were the victims in 30 per cent of all reported occurrences.
Len Rudner, director of community relations and outreach for the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), said the findings should be seen in context.
“The report speaks to a fundamental truth. Canada is a great country to live in and Toronto is a great city to live in. But the fact hate crimes occur in Toronto should be of concern to everybody. The fact the numbers are up is a concern. The fact that Jews were the most targeted is a concern,” he said.
“I think if we remember that every incident represents a school, a synagogue or an individual that has been told they did not belong, and even if it happens once, it is significant and it is worth noting,” he added.
Of the incidents involving Jews as victim, 38 involved mischief, including three that involved a religious property, two were assaults, one was described as criminal harassment and three incidents involved death threats.