Toronto (July 26, 2019) - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is disappointed in Vancouver City Council’s decision to delay voting on a resolution aimed at countering antisemitism.
The resolution, which calls for the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, was put forward on Wednesday by Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung after Vancouver Police Department data revealed the Jewish community is the most targeted by hate crimes in the city. By a vote of 6-1, the council decided to send the resolution to the city’s Racial and Ethno-Cultural Equity Advisory Committee for recommendations on how to counter all forms of racism.
“While we must take action against all forms of racism and intolerance, it’s disappointing to see that city leaders do not recognize the urgency in countering antisemitism, especially considering the data that clearly shows the Jewish community is being targeted more than any other group,” said FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo. “There is no time to waste in the fight against antisemitism, and all cities across Canada must make an effort to combat it.”
Hate crimes have been increasing each year in Vancouver since 2015, and a total of 187 hate crimes were investigated by police last year, according to Statistics Canada. Vancouver had the highest hate crime rate among Canada’s three largest metropolitan areas in 2018, with 7.1 hate crimes per 100,000 people, compared to 6.5 in Montreal and 6.4 in Toronto.