Top Australian Jewish Group Decries ‘Alarming Pattern’ of Antisemitism After Jewish Man and His Son Verbally Assaulted in Melbourne
A top Australian Jewish group on Sunday denounced a “broader and alarming pattern” of antisemitism after a Jewish man and his son were verbally assaulted in Melbourne.
The pair, who were wearing yarmulkes and thus visibly Jewish, were on a street in the heavily Jewish suburb of Caulfield when a man in his late 30s or early 40s began screaming antisemitic epithets.
“What are you looking at Jew dogs?” the man yelled. “Stop staring at me c***s. If you keep looking at me, I’m gonna smash your f***ing faces in, you Jew dogs.”
One of the victims said, “I cannot believe that in Australia in 2020 we are still experiencing antisemitic incidents on the street. I can’t shake off this unsettled feeling that people today are still singling out Jews as open targets for abuse without fear of repercussions.”
“What if that individual had attacked someone who was alone or unable to defend themselves?” he asked.
Dr. Dvir Abramovich, chairman of Australian Jewish organization the Anti-Defamation Commission, said in a statement, “This is not an isolated incident but part of a broader and alarming pattern and is another undeniable reminder that antisemitism in Australia is alive and well.”
“It may be an uncomfortable truth for some, but the reality is that the rising wave of hatred against Jews here is becoming commonplace,” he added.
“This is a palpable crisis, unfolding across the country, that is only getting worse with the number of reported incidents on a scale I have not witnessed before,” he continued. “These threatening flames are escalating, and are making members of the Jewish community feel less safe on our streets.
“We can’t accept that the new normal in Australia is that Jews will have to hide signs of their religious identity so as to avoid vilification and harassment as is the case in Europe,” Abramovich stated.
“Such disturbing outbursts not only traumatize the victim but shake us all to the core and will leave many feeling fearful and vulnerable,” he added. “This terrifying incident provides further evidence that racists are less inhibited about expressing their savage sentiments in public, and that we must all redouble our efforts to stamp out this dangerous phenomenon.”