EDMONTON, Canada—A giant swastika carved into the side of a hill in an Edmonton, Alberta, park seems to reflect a larger trend of anti-Semitic incidents and racism across Canada.
The swastika was found by a worker at Castle Downs Park who said he witnessed a group of young males carving the image into the hill. The Edmonton police are investigating but so far no charges have been laid.
John Reilly, a spokesperson for Racism Free Edmonton, says such incidents are “a disturbing consistent presence within our communities.”
According to B’nai Brith Canada’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, there has been a fivefold increase in harassment and violence against Jews in Canada in the past 10 years.
More than 1,300 incidents were recorded in 2010—the highest in almost 30 years, with the majority occurring in Ontario and Quebec.
The incidents include harassment, stereotyping, discrimination, threats, violence, and vandalism involving “crimes of messaging”—offensive graffiti that contains racial slurs or swastikas.
The identity of the perpetrators is largely unknown due to the frequent anonymity of the crimes, but the audit reported 97 cases where the perpetrator self-identified as being of Arab origin, followed by seven blacks, three Chinese, and one German.