Jewish-Muslim activities “more important than ever”

July 22, 2021 by J-Wire News Service
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Jeremy Jones, the Director of International and of Community Affairs for the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council says that meeting with, dialoguing with and engaging with Muslim communities is “more important than ever”.

Jeremy Jones with members of the Ahmaddiyah community

This follows the wave of global antisemitism earlier this year and ongoing campaigns of anti-Jewish demonisation and caricatures proliferating on social media.

During this week’s Eid Festival, Jones was a guest of the Afghan Australian community, which moved its events online and invited him to answer questions on racism, interfaith dialogue and community relations in Australia.

“The consistent theme I received in feedback to my presentation was that many people talk about Jews, but don’t talk with Jews and that the negative images of Jews were often unchallenged”, he said.

Earlier this year, during the Muslim Fasting Month of Ramadan, Jones was hosted at nine “iftars”, the meals and celebrations at the end of each day’s Fasting.

“I was invited to address a wide cross-section of the Muslim community, in venues including a high school, a mosque and private homes, and had many opportunities to discuss Judaism, Israel, Australian multiculturalism and more”, he said.

During Israel’s war against Hamas in May, Jones said he was engaged in discussion and “passionate but invariably respectful” exchanges of perspectives around the clock.

“ I appreciated that I was being asked to respond to videos and images circulating widely online, many of which were simply fake while some simply lacked any context, as it helped me understand the intensity of the campaigns in which Jews were being maligned and as it demonstrated that there are people who weren’t just accepting whatever they were hearing”, he said. 

“I was also informed by some interlocutors -Christian and Muslim- that they had been threatened by ‘ a few powerful people ‘ in the Australian Muslim community that they should not speak to any Jews who were not ‘overt and public anti-Zionists’, and that while they found this disconcerting they felt that the people threatening them were wrong-headed, at best”, he added.

“If we do not engage, those who want to stop our views being heard strengthen their position and the verbal attacks on Jews go unchallenged “, he concluded.

Comments

One Response to “Jewish-Muslim activities “more important than ever””
  1. Paul Winter says:

    Don Quixote is at it again. A Jew is listened to and given a meal and all is well. It isn’t! When we hear Muslim leaders denouncing antisemitism, actions by jihadis, the Jew-hatred of Hizb-ut-Tahrir, PA and Hamas blood libels against Israel, I’ll start to believe that his efforts are not completely counter-productive; at present they lull us into a false sense of security and hope for harmony.

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