Queensland call for Holocaust museum
June 21, 2015 by J-Wire News Service
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A police drug raid on a Cooktown home produced more than was expected…a display of Nazi flags.
President of the Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies Jason Steinberg told J-Wire: “Australia is generally regarded as a safe, multicultural and tolerant society. Similarly, Queensland, the third largest Australian state is a relaxed and popular place to live.
However, this week’s police drug raids in northern Queensland also uncovered Nazi and American rebel flags.
It is a disturbing reality these raids uncovered the vile link between Right Wing extremism and organised crime.
Revelations like this also send a preverbal shudder through the Queensland Jewish community who have been concerned about the rise in anti-Semitism across Europe and in other parts of Australia.
In Australia last year alone there was a significant surge in anti-Semitic attacks. For example, in Melbourne a Jewish man was confronted by two men who called him a “Jewish dog” in Arabic and then violently assaulted him.
At a Perth shopping centre, a visiting Rabbi from Jerusalem and his assistant were set upon by six teenagers threatening to “fix [them] up” for “killing babies in Gaza”.
In Sydney, eight teenagers boarded a school bus with 30 terrified Jewish primary school children, threatening to “slit their throats” while shouting “Heil Hitler,” and “All Jews must die”.
And in suburban Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland, industrial garbage bins and a telephone box were daubed with large swastikas – visible for hundreds of people to see every day.
Similarly, on the idyllic Queensland Gold Coast, the Florida of Australia, a small number of neo Nazi extremists meet annually in private for a rock concert.
The question our relatively small Jewish community of 8000 people in a place so livable as Queensland need to ask is: How do we stop elements of society fostering such extremist ideology?
The answer rests in education. Educating school-aged children about hatred and intolerance through the lens of the Holocaust is one way to address this issue.
In Queensland we need more Holocaust education – we need a permanent Holocaust and Tolerance Museum.
Until we have such an avenue to educate the general public, anti-Semitism in all its forms will prevail. We can’t let that happen.