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November 12, 2014 11:57 am

Anti-Semitism Up 35 Percent in Australia Over Past Year

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The Great Synagogue, Elizabeth Street, Sydney, Australia. Australian Jews have launched an action plan to combat anti-Semitism in the country. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – Anti-Semitism has increased by 35 percent over the past year in Australia, according to a new report by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ). There were 312 incidents of anti-Semitism recorded in the country during that time.

The report cited the anti-Israel protests and rhetoric related to last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza as part of the reason for the spike in Australian anti-Semitism.

“The Israel-Gaza war produced mass protests in Australia, and the world, condemning Israel. There is a correlation between the intensity of conflict involving Israel and the level of anti-Semitism recorded in the western world, of which Australia is part,” said ECAJ.

Among the incidents documented in the report was the attack on five Jewish people in Bondi as they were walking home from a Shabbat dinner, a rabbi who was threatened by a gang in Perth, and students who were threatened on a bus in Sydney by a gang of drunken teenagers.

The report also cited an “escalating use of anti-Semitism motifs” in the Australian media as part of the increase in anti-Semitism incidents. It specifically mentioned claims by former Australian foreign minister Bob Carr, who said that Australian politics suffered from a “very unhealthy influence” by the pro-Israel lobby, as well as a cartoon in the Sydney Morning Herald last July that “unambiguously portrayed an ugly stereotype of a Jew.”

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