Canadian authorities said Friday that the number of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim hate crimes in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, has increased significantly since the conflict in Gaza between Israel and Hamas began on Oct. 7.
Police Chief Myron Demcchio said 78 hate crimes were reported between Oct. 7 and Nov. 20, compared to 37 in the same period in 2022. The real number is undoubtedly higher, he added, because some people have been reluctant to press charges. They complain about what happened to them.
The number of anti-Semitic hate crimes reported in this period nearly tripled to 38 from 13 last year, while crimes involving Muslim, Palestinian and Arab populations jumped to 17 from just one in 2022.
“The impact of events in the Middle East on our city has continued and intensified since October 7,” Demkio said at a news conference.
According to Canadian authorities, since the attack launched by Hamas on southern Israel on October 7 and the subsequent Israeli response to it, 25 people have been arrested and charged with 64 charges in relation to hate incidents.
Demchio noted that hate crimes “can traumatize not only the victims, but all members of the targeted community and beyond.”
Toronto has temporarily increased the size of its hate crimes unit to 29 from the usual six.
Around three million people live in Toronto, which is why it is Canada’s largest city, with a population of just over 40 million people.