Anti-Semitism on rise on Canadian university campuses

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Pastor Dale Morgan

Jul 7, 2011, 11:17:00 PM7/7/11
Perilous Times

Anti-Semitism on rise on Canadian university campuses

By Beatrice Fantoni, Postmedia NewsJuly 7, 2011 10:03 PM

OTTAWA – Anti-Semitism on Canadian university campuses is a growing threat and the Canadian government needs to do more to tackle hate crimes against Jews, a parliamentary inquiry has found.

The Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism released its report Thursday after two years of hearings.

It says anti-Semitism is on the rise in Canada, especially in universities. The report makes several recommendations, including working with police services across Canada to clearly define what constitutes an anti-Semitic crime and looking at rising international anti-Semitism when designating source countries for immigration.

“We have a limited ability to measure (hate crimes against Jews) across the country,” Conservative MP Scott Reid, who headed the coalition’s steering committee, said Thursday.

More accurate reporting is needed to understand the nature of criminal and non-criminal anti-Semitic acts, he said. “We need to make (definitions) comparable across the country and comparable to international incidents.”

The coalition was formed in late 2009, following an international conference on anti-Semitism in the U.K. Its aim was to find out more about how anti-Semitism is playing out in Canada.

A total of 74 witnesses testified at 10 hearings, and more than 150 written submissions were made between November 2009 and February 2010.

The coalition was composed of more than 20 MPs and senators, both Jewish and non-Jewish, from all political parties. Bloc Québécois members dropped out in 2010, claiming the coalition was biased.

Former Liberal MP Mario Silva, who chaired the hearings, said he was especially disturbed to hear how many Jewish university students felt intimidated or unsafe on campus in light of events such as Israeli Apartheid Week, which the coalition considers to be anti-Semitic. The annual event, held across Canada, opposes Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and calls for boycotts of and sanctions against Israel.

The coalition’s report recommends the federal government sponsor conferences at universities to counter these types of events.

Critics of the coalition said the process did not include dissenting voices. Interest groups, such as the Canadian Islamic Congress and Independent Jewish Voices, were not invited to make statements.

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