Australia: Anti-Semitic incidents almost double the average

Australian Jewish News

AUSTRALIAN Jews suffered a record 652 anti-Semitic incidents in the 12 months to October, almost twice the average of the past 18 years.

The 2007-08 tally was two per cent above that of the period ending September 30 last year.

These unsettling figures were revealed to the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) annual conference in Sydney this week by researcher Jeremy Jones, who submitted his annual report on anti-Semitism in Australia.

Jones, who is director of community affairs for the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, said he was particularly concerned about anti-Jewish propaganda from extremist organisations, much of it published in fringe publications and on the internet.

In his report to the ECAJ, he noted "particular concern at the negative impact of material from a variety of overseas sources which has as its thesis an eternal enmity of Muslims towards Jews".

"During the 12 months in review, the combined number of incidents involving physical assault, property damage and direct, face-to-face harassment was almost three times the previous average," Jones stated.

He said online communities, Facebook and YouTube "have been the venues of crude and intense anti-Jewish prejudice being expressed openly and unashamedly. While the sum total of reports of each and all such behaviour is not sufficient to suggest that it is rampant, it is nevertheless cause for genuine concern".

On a brighter note, Jones said mainstream debate surrounding last year's federal election was reasonably free of anti-Semitism "despite efforts by anti-Jewish groups and individuals".

The same applied to communal reactions to the extradition request by Hungary for alleged Nazi war criminal Charles Zentai, the Federal Court contempt hearing under the Racial Hatred Act concerning Fredrick Toben and Parliament's motion congratulating Israel on its 60th anniversary,

Reports of threats conveyed to the Jewish community by phone and mail were less than a third of the average over the previous 18 years.

Phone calls, which often contained extreme anti-Semitic abuse, were at the lowest rate in 19 years and hate mail was at the third lowest rate in 19 years.

"But abusive and threatening mail continued to be received at private homes and by Jewish institutions."

Jones said that during the review period, graffiti incidents were the second lowest in eight years and at 80 per cent of the average for all years.

On interfaith relations, he said the Jewish and Islamic communities in Australia "enjoy a generally positive relationship and there is little evidence that anti-Jewish sentiment is widespread. At the public, leadership level, Muslim and Jewish Australians regularly meet, and promote understanding and tolerance".

Jones said otherwise excellent relations between Australian Jews and Christians were sometimes marred by "derogatory references to the Jewish religion" from some church figures.

"There was a concern expressed by some members of the Jewish community and others sympathetic to it, that the staging of a re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross, during the Papal visit to Sydney, would reinforce or encourage anti-Jewish stereotypes and prejudice, but there were efforts made by the Catholic Church and the Jewish community to minimise this potential harm, apparently successfully."

Copyright © Jewish Internet Defense Force
All Rights Reserved

The views expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the JIDF. The content is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company or individual. This site's intention is to do no harm, to not injure others, defame, or libel. All data and information provided on this site is for informational, educational, and/or entertainment purposes only. The Jewish Internet Defense Force (JIDF) makes no representations as to accuracy, currentness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use, or access to this site. We are not responsible for translation or interpretation of content. We are not responsible for defamatory statements bound to government, religious or other laws from the reader’s country of origin. All information is provided on an as-is basis with no warranties, and confers no rights. We are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, opinions expressed, privacy policies, products or services or for any damages or losses, directly or indirectly, caused or alleged to have been caused as a result of your use or reliance on such information on the Jewish Internet Defense Force site. This site includes links to other sites and blogs operated by third parties. These links are provided as a convenience to you and as an additional avenue of access to the information contained therein. We have not reviewed all of the information on other sites and are not responsible for the content of any other sites or any products or services that may be offered through other sites. The inclusion of these links in no way indicates their endorsement, support or approval of the contents of this site or the policies or positions of the JIDF. We have the right to edit, remove or deny access to content that is determined to be, in our sole discretion, unacceptable. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use this blog and the Website. The JIDF is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to
Related Posts with Thumbnails