July 23rd, 2024

Montreal police say hate crimes rising, most targeting Jews, amid Israel-Hamas war

By The Canadian Press on October 20, 2023.

A Montreal police badge is shown during a news conference in Montreal, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. Montreal police say they've received reports of 16 hate crimes, mostly targeting Jewish people, since the beginning of the war between Israel and Hamas on Oct. 7. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Montreal police say they’ve received reports of 16 hate crimes, mostly targeting Jewish people, since the beginning of the war between Israel and Hamas on Oct. 7.

Police say that, as of Wednesday, they had received reports of 12 hate crimes targeting the city’s Jewish community – including one during a protest – and four hate crimes targeting the city’s Arab and Muslim communities.

Police say that during the same period there were also 13 “hate incidents” targeting the Jewish community and seven targeting Arabs or Muslims.

Hate incidents are described by the police as actions that are not criminal but that may affect people’s sense of safety, such as the distribution of offensive material, insults and offensive gestures.

In its annual report, the police service said there were 50 hate crimes and 21 incidents targeting people based on their religion in 2022, along with 118 hate crimes and 35 incidents targeting people based on their ethnic or national origin.

Police spokeswoman Mélanie Bergeron said in an email that the service is responding to the current climate by being more visible outside places of worship and other sites of interest.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2023.

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