Port Phillip Council condemns antisemitism

December 20, 2017 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Anti-Defamation Commission has hailed the historic motion condemning antisemitism that was passed unanimously by the Port Phillip Council.

Dvir Abramovich – ADC

The resolution, drafted by Dvir Abramovich, followed the Dick Gross incident.

Deputy Mayor Gross who is Jewish was faced with a pouch on his desk at a  council meeting revcently and was urged to open it. It contained 30 silver coins, a gesture has been used over the centuries in antisemitic incidents. The  coins depict the price Judas accepted to betray Jesus.

Dr Abramovich was the only speaker to address the council before the vote, urging them to back it. It is the first time in the country’s history that a local council has endorsed such a motion.

Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the ADC, issued the following statement:

“We applaud the Port Phillip Councillors for rising to the occasion of this moment and for forcefully condemning the scourge of antisemitism through this historic motion. This action sends the unmistakable message that there is no excuse for excusing intolerance and that what happened in their chambers is not who they are.

Last month, in the heart of local government, our community witnessed ugly, jarring, in- your-face anti-Jewish bigotry that jolted all of us and which tested our enduring values of inclusivity and respect. Its impact reverberated far past the individual affected and pained many others.

I am heartened that the Port Philip Councillors looked deeply within themselves, locked arms, and said in one, strong voice, that religious vilification must never find a home in our country and labelled it for what it is—un-Australian and always unacceptable.”


(The Council) unequivocally and publicly condemns all forms of antisemitism which include, but are not limited to:

  1. • Using falsehoods, stereotypes and allegations such as a Jewish conspiracy to dominate and control the media, economy and government, or that Jewish citizens are more loyal to Israel than to their own nation.
  2. • Employing blood libels, images and symbols associated with age-old antisemitism that have provided justification for harm to Jews for thousands of years.
  3. • Calling for the destruction of the Jewish people
  4. • Denying Israel’s right to exist

Dvir Abramovich addressed the Council saying: “At the ADC, we’ve been fighting the virus of antisemitism and all forms of hatred for nearly 40 years.

Hatred directed at Jews is not new.

There’s a reason why it’s often described as the longest and oldest hatred.

Dick Gross

Today, it is proliferating and escalating— in school yards, on  multiple social media platforms,  on our streets, and everywhere in between.

And this virus, this irrational prejudice, can also manifest itself in the halls of a council meeting in Melbourne.

The ugly incident that took place last month tested our enduring values of multiculturalism, inclusivity and respect for all people.

Anti-Semitism has been called the mother of all bigotries.  In many ways, it  an early warning signal for society.

It functions as a crucial indicator of the health of a society and a democracy.

We know, that while persecution and discrimination often begins with the Jews, it rarely ends with the Jews.

The hatred directed against other minorities and the invective that has been spewed forth against anyone who is different, has clear echoes of classic antisemitism that has infected societies throughout the ages.

And so, the reprehensible incident that took place in this hallowed hall required each one of us to look deeply within ourselves, us to lock arms and to say in one, strong voice, that religious vilification must never find a home in our country.

We should never have an excuse for excusing intolerance because every Australian is entitled to be treated with dignity.

It’s as simple and as basic as that.

And the battle against antisemitism is not only the fight of the Jews.”

It’s everyone’s fight.

We must combat this prejudice with our hearts and minds, and with everything we’ve got – so our communities can feel safe in this nation we love.

For the Jewish people, “Never Again” always has meant that we would never again permit the cancer of hate that led to the Holocaust to take root.

As Jews, we would never turn a blind eye or stand idly by in the face of intolereance.

I am always heartened when elected official refuse to stay on the sidelines when others are marginalized because of their faith, or culture, or their surname, or how they look, or how they pray or who they love

Because that is not who we are.”


One Response to “Port Phillip Council condemns antisemitism”
  1. David Schulberg says:

    Just highfalutin language from Abramovich. Where’s the prosecution under 18C? Where’s the naming and shaming of the perpetrator?

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