Antisemitism flying high at Sydney rally

July 14, 2014 by Julie Nathan
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The rally in support of Gaza was held outside Sydney’s Town Hall, in the plaza. On the majestic steps and podium, and in the crowd, dozens of the black jihadist Shehada flags and Hezbollah flags were flying high. Speakers were dwarfed by a huge Palestinian flag behind them.

Antisemitism was also flying high. It was open, unashamed and palpable. The images through posters and flags were not just anti-Israel, but antisemitic to its core.

A particularly odious poster was of a Star of David with a swastika embedded within it and the words “Holy Cost” playing on the word ‘Holocaust’. The implication was a mocking of the Holocaust against the Jews, while accusing the Jews of committing a holocaust against the Palestinians.

Other posters were emblazoned with themes denigrating Jews and Judaism, and equating Israel with Nazi Germany. These posters included the words: “Khazar Jews out of Palestine”, “God chosen who?”, “Gaza is the Warsaw ghetto”, “God is not your real estate agent”, “First it was Hitler….. Now it is Israel!” and “You cannot continue to victimize someone else just because you yourself were a victim once. Zionist do not do onto Palestine what Nazis did to you!

Referring to Jews as “Khazars” is a means of delegitimizing the Jewish ancestral connection to Eretz Yisrael, and of Jewish nationhood. The references to God aim to make Jewish claims appear airy-fairy whilst ignoring the historical national connections to Israel.

There were many mock-ups of the Israeli flag. Some replaced the Star of David with a swastika, others embedded a swastika inside the Star of David. One had the Israeli flag, with a swastika inside the Star of David, bespattered with red as though it was blood, and the words “See humans but no humanity”

A particularly egregious flag was one in the Nazi colours, with red background, black stripes, white circle in the centre, but instead of a swastika in the circle there was a black Star of David. Another Israeli flag had the centre peeling away to reveal a Nazi swastika flag underneath, with the description of “Nazism Zionism is the same”.

The vileness of comparisons of Israel to Nazi Germany is expressed by British author Howard Jacobson when he said: “Its aim is a sort of retrospective retribution, cancelling out all debts of guilt and sorrow. It is as though, by a reversal of the usual laws of cause and effect, Jewish actions of today prove that Jews had it coming to them yesterday. Berating Jews with their own history, disinheriting them of pity, as though pity is negotiable or has a sell-by date, is the latest species of Holocaust denial…”

The antisemitism displayed at this rally was not without precedent. The organizers of the rally, the Palestine Action Group (PAG), posted on its own Facebook event page a link to a neo-Nazi, white supremacist website. They linked to an article about a town in Guatemala expelling its Jewish residents.

This website was replete with swastikas, iron crosses, White Pride logos, Blood & Honour logos, and more. There was enough to indicate the kind of website it is. Perhaps the ethnic cleansing of Jews from this Guatemalan village struck a chord with those who desired the ethnic cleansing of millions of Jews from Israel/Palestine.

An earlier comment on the same Facebook event page was that “Jews will never ever have rights.” Another comment was the recitation of Muhammad saying that “Judgment Day will come only when the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, until the Jew hides behind the tree and the stone, and the tree and the stone say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah , there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him’ – except for the Gharqad tree.” U think the tree is going to protect u but instead it’s going to be ur enemy beware.”

After the rally on Sunday, comments on the PAG’s event Facebook page included: “you filthy Jewish dog… Go have a shower everyone knows u pigs only wash once a month”, “we Dont want u Jews in this country” and “These putrid people… U r the chosen ones!! Chosen to go fuk yourself you scummy chatty dogs.”

One can only surmise that the protestors, organizers, and Facebook commentators either do not understand what antisemitism (ie Jew-hatred) is, and so do not recognize it, or else they do and are very comfortable with it but recognize that antisemitism is not yet publicly respectable, and so must deny being antisemitic while engaging in antisemitism.

Perhaps it is simply a case of cognitive dissonance, as seen when the MC for the rally accused “the Jews” of “burning people” then stated that “Our struggle is not against Jews or Judaism but against the Jewish state.” One dreadful act allegedly by a handful of renegade Jews becomes a crime of which all Jews are held guilty – a classic case of antisemitism. To claim that one is not against the Jewish people or the Jewish religion but is only against the Jewish state whilst at the same time vilifying Jews, denying their national rights and mocking their religion, is nothing less than antisemitism.

Lee Rhiannon, Greens MP, claimed that “Israel is targeting the civilians of Gaza with these bombings, and that is shameful and that is what we condemn.” This is the ‘big lie’ at the heart of Rhiannon’s message. Israel does more than any other nation at war to avoid civilian casualties. It is Hamas, not Israel, which fires indiscriminately in the hope of killing civilians. It is Hamas, not Israel, which uses its own people as human shields and makes mosques, hospitals and schools military targets by stashing weapons and munitions there. Rhiannon has uttered a contemporary equivalent of the ancient Blood Libel against Jews.

It is about time these people grew up, stopped hiding behind their fraudulent mantras and acknowledged their racism against Jews. If they want to be taken seriously, they need to discard their antisemitism.

Julie Nathan is the research officer for the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.



6 Responses to “Antisemitism flying high at Sydney rally”
  1. Ernst says:

    And we call ourselves civilised. Funny thing about history is nothing ever seems to change.

    Humans are living proof evolution is a myth. Otherwise we’d be getting smarter instead.

  2. Angela Wine says:

    If someone with a gun or ammunition comes to your door and announces that his aim is to blow you up, in order to wipe you and your family out, to annihilate you and your family,immediate and distant, completely and take over your houses
    You may have two possibilities in such a situation.

    1)In the first place you will probably lock all doors and windows so that he won’t be able to get in. You will tell your family to do the same as there are lunatics that don’t want you to exist

    2) If you have the means to blow him up so that he cannot wipe you out, you will do so.

    Compare such a situation to the Hamas, Hizbullah, Iran and others’ attitude to Israel. Their intentions are genocide for the Jews and taking over the piece of land called Israel, after wiping out Israel and the Jews.

    These intentions are in the Hamas charter and were in the PLO charter as well. Iran declared it openly. So just look how these Islamic extremists have covered up their aims by blaming the Jews and Israel for the very things they want to do and are trying hard to do. Arabs against Israel wars in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973 and now, show the hard historical facts being so.

    And worst of all such a country as Australia allows such a disgusting antisemitic rally while other Western countries also condemn Israel for its defending itself
    Shame on you all. (Beware G’d is watching over Israel as it has been over the centuries. Fact. Empires fell one after the other, but the Jews survived)

  3. Australia is my country. when I was young and at infants school I believed that Australia was a great place to live. We had wogs and slope heads and migrants from other countries. By the time we reached primary school we were all friends and race didn’t matter to us as kids, unless there was someone who didn’t want to be like us. Sometimes an ethnic kid would want to be tough and would not be part of the group. That’s where racial tension became an issue. Otherwise, we all got on and played together and did what kids do.
    There has been too much speculation from the greens and civil libertarians that Australians are racist toward ‘new arrivals’. That is total BS as Australia and it’s people are the most tolerant and welcoming of all the countries in the world.
    While we are doing our best to welcome migrants to Australia we also need to know that those people we welcome are prepared to adopt our legal system and way of life. Australia’s laws, culture and heritage need to be respected and adhered to. Also, extreme religious affiliation can not be tolerated in this country.

  4. Derek says:

    A man who holds up a sign can think he is brave, but let him articulate what the sign represents, and articulate it to the face of the person whom his sign denigrates, and then we shall see whether he is a coward or not. Is he a mindless hater, or does he have the courage of his convictions? Only by hearing him speak in an environment where he can be challenged, will his empty hatreds be exposed for what they are.

    That is why I would like to see this addressed in moderated television debate, where the sign holders and slogan shouters are pitted against well informed stakeholders, not only Jews, but friends and allies of Jews and our families. The purpose of holding such debates is not necessarily to humiliate the sign holders and the slogan shouters, although their humiliation is almost a foregone conclusion, but to bring them to the conscious reflection of why they believe what they believe, who told it to them, and then hope that this will demonstrate to them once and for all, why their hatreds have no place in Australian society, nor indeed in any realm of human existence.

    Adolf Hitler was able to whip up antisemitic hysteria because he had brilliant oratory, and could do so unchallenged from public platforms. He played to deep seated prejudices against minorities, the most ghastly of which was that against Jews, but there were others too, like homosexuals, gypsies and political dissidents. It is therefore of benefit to minorities to support each other in the legitimate cause of freedom.

    That is why it is in the public interest not to give Nazis the soap box to promulgate their invective, but to contain them within public debating rules, and I think public debate before an audience is the best way to bring this all out into the open.

  5. Stephen says:

    I wonder if there was a parade in Sydney where, say, the Greek or Irish flags and symbols had swastikas superimposed over them as a form of protest. Or that a sitting MP could join the mob and spread blatant lies and obvious prejudice. It’s hard to imagine such acts not being a mainstream news story in itself no matter what the conflict in some other part of the world at the time. Only those attacking Jews; the Palestinians and those that purport to support them in particular, are free of the normal level of accountability and decency that protects minorities.
    It’s good to see this writer calling out these vile peddlers of vilification to account.

  6. Dan says:

    Looks much like the queue outside Bankstown Centrelink, on the way to the battlefields of Syria.

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