Antisemitism in Australia – The Vital Statistics

November 10, 2014 by Henry Benjamin
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The 2014 report on antisemitism in Australia clearly shows a shift from the extremes to the mainstream community fuelled by social media and the failure of popular media to address incidents with urgency thereby giving credence to virulently antisemitic postings left unmoderated on major websites.


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Julie Nathan, research officer at The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, produced the report and singles out the ABC who hosted unmoderated comments on their  website following the Four Corners “Stone Cold Justice”program only to remove them after five weeks of regular complaints by the ECAJ. The report is also critical of Peter Goers  article in the Adelaide Sunday Mail and the LeLievre cartoon in the Sydney Morning Herald depicting a stereotyped Jew sitting on a comfortable couch directing the Protective Edge war in Gaza with a remote control.

Add to the mix “The Diary of a Foreign Minister” written by former Foreign Minister Bob Carr in which he is critical of “Melbourne’s Israeli lobby” and former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser openly singling out the Australian Jewish community of “dual loyalties” and it easy to see where Nathan is coming from in asserting that antisemitism in Australia is moving in from the extremes.

Overall, Antisemitism in Australia in the 2013-2014 year has increased by 35%.

The report records 312 reported incidents up from 231 in the previous year.

Physical attacks: UP from 5 to 15.

Abuse, harassment or intimidation: DOWN  from 115  to 75

Property damage and vandalism: UP from 6 to 10

Graffiti: UP from 29 to 43

E-mail threats: UP from 36 to 101

Facebook threats: UP from 3 to 8

Postal threats: DOWN from 18 to 12

Telephone/text/fax threats: UP from 11 to 39

Leaflets, Posters etc UP from 8 to 9

New South Wales remains by far the hardest hit State with 183 incidents reported to the authorities. There were 126 reported in the same time frame the previous year.

Victoria experienced 114 incidents up from 86, Western Australia showed a drop with 7 incidents against 19 in the previous year.

The overall data used statistics recorded from October 1 through to September 30

The ACT, Queensland and South Australia had been incident free in the previous year but this year they join the list with the ACT recording one incident, Queensland three and South Australia four.

Nathan’s report highlights physical attacks as “the most disturbing trend”.

There is a cautionary word in the report as Nathan attempts to explain the 35% decline in abuse, harassment or intimidation.

Julie Nathan writes that this drop manifested itself in NSW only and she strongly hints that it “could indicate a deficiency in the reporting of such incidents in Sydney”.

The report singles out four major incidents in the 2013/2014 year.

Five members of the community were taunted then attacked in Bondi and required hospitalisation.

A 28-yr-old man wearing a T-shirt with Hebrew text on it suffered abrasions, bruising and cuts following an attack in Elsternwick with the assailants calling out in Arabic “kalb Yehud” (Jewish dog).

In Perth a Hassidic rabbi, his assistant and his driver were confronted by a group of six teenagers  who threatened them and verbally abused them. When they successfully made it to their car, the group surrounded it banging on the body then spitting on it.

In Sydney, around 30 young students aged between 5 and 12 were subjected to physical and verbal threats by 5-8 teenagers who boarded their schools. The children were told “all Jews must die” and “we’re going slit your throats”.

In the report Julie Nathan quotes Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, the Chief Rabbi of the United Congregations of the Commonwealth: “Antisemitism stigmatises innocent people, legitimises hatred, breed intolerance and is an open invitation to permissible persecution.

Jews have been described as being the canaries in the coal mine for Western civilisation: when we begin to suffer from poisons in the atmosphere others would be wise to take note.”

Comments

19 Responses to “Antisemitism in Australia – The Vital Statistics”
  1. Anne-Marie Swan says:

    Thought I would add my experiences as a new found Jew. A year ago I found out my Mother was Jewish- she had lost history. The comments I receive when I state I am Jewish have caused me to understand why the Jews stick together. Aryan in looks like my Nordic father, I took for granted my Anglo status of a non oppressed majority. Moving from a Jewish suburb to an inner city booming suburb known for it’s multi-culturalism and artistic sensibility, I thought I would be welcome however I have never felt more ‘under attack’. The negative comments from Middle Class Australians towards 0.02% of the worlds population have left me incredulous. Back to the Jewish ghetto for me; antisemitism is well and truly alive and I am politically to the left, supportive of the Palestinian cause.

  2. Bernard Weckmann says:

    “fuelled by social media and the failure of popular media….?

    I think not. Anti-Semitism is created by anti-“Gentilism – always and everywhere.

    I have converted to Judaism and since abandoned it. I have lived in Israel.
    I DO know whereof I speak.

  3. harry rich says:

    As a Holocaust survivor I can say that this is the thin edge of the wedge.

    • Adrian Jackson says:

      I am glad that you survived WW2.

      My uncle didn’t survive as his Lancaster Heavy Bomber (619 Squadron) was shot down on 4 or 5 Jan 1945 and crashed into the seas. He was a RAAF, WO, wireless operator/air gunner (the top turret on the Lancaster). The crew, except for one (not my uncle), were never recovered as the aeroplane was not found. He volunteered to help the Europeans get themselves out of yet another mess that they seem to get themselves into with monotonous regularity over the centuries and the present too be it political or economic.

  4. Eion Isaac says:

    This indicates the need for Jews a bookly People to Think Military Preparadness and reduce indulgence .Like the Early Pioneers .A Hardened People after our catastrophic history.

  5. Robyn3127 says:

    Your bias is well known Adrian, a Google of your name speaks a thousand words. I am sure you have contributed in some way to the anti – semitism described in the report.

  6. Adrian Jackson says:

    Most of the anti semitic activities seem to be directed at Arab and Palestinian semites plus the wider Arab and Muslim community. This is fueled by right wing commentators like Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones plus conservative nutters in the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia.

    • Rami Reed says:

      You must be kidding.you are well aware that the article is dealing with groups and individuals targeting Jews. From what I have seen it is Muslims who are the main instigators of violence against Jews

      • Otto Waldmann says:

        Oh , no Remi, Adrian knows that the Jews are responsible for creating antisemitism so that his Arab mates should be targeted, demonised, persecuted, exterminated in concentration camps built all over Europe by our ( Jewish ) allies, the nazis , as arabs identify themselves first and foremost as semites and Yad Vashem should be redesigned to make Adrian Jackson the ultimate in history/ antisemitism…..

        This bloke/shlemil is on a mission….

        …..ganz meshuge !!!!!!

        • Adrian Jackson says:

          Otto you need to calm down and think rationally.

          • Otto Waldmann says:

            Adrian, you need someone to translate to you the Yidish I used in relation to you because THAT requires specialised calming down….

            • Adrian Jackson says:

              Write it in English which is the national language of Australia and New Zealand as well as being the international language.

              I heard that fewer people speak Yiddish preferring Hebrew in places like Israel. Incidentally there are 2 “d” in Yiddish according to spell check.

              • Otto Waldmann says:

                Yidish like this is perfectly kosher, as transliterated orthographies (plural)in relation to Yidish are flexible.
                Otherwise, if you don’t like non Eglish interludes, particularly of the Jewish type on this specific site, you know where you can go fly your pathetic kite…..

  7. Sol Salbe says:

    In regard to the quote below, is this the wording in the report?

    A 28-yr-old man wearing a T-shirt with Hebrew text on it suffered abrasions, bruising and cuts following an attack in Elsternwick with the assailants calling out in Arabic “kalb Yehud” (Jewish dog).

    • Adrian Jackson says:

      I think that the T shirt had something on it to do with the IDF or an IDF style self defence course. I vaguely remember reading about it in a local online newspaper during the recent “block buster” bombing of Gaza by Israel.

    • Sol Salbe says:

      Such a complex question, and none of you can provide the answer? where can I read the original report to check if there is an element of ‘farbessen” (as my late mother would put it) in this version?

      • Shirlee Finn says:

        I presume you are sitting in front of a computer of sorts.

        Look it up yourself, you can’t be that thick. Stop insulting others.

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