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September 27, 2021 2:58 pm

Australian Civil Rights Group Denounces Antisemitic, Anti-Vax Graffiti Found at Melbourne IKEA

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Antisemitic graffiti found on an Ikea store in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Anti-Defamation Commission.

Australia’s leading civil rights organization condemned antisemitic and anti-vaccine graffiti found on the side of an IKEA store in Melbourne, Australia.

The Ikea store in the suburb of Richmond was defaced Thursday on one wall with the words, “No Jew Jab for Oz,” and “No Jew Jab” on another wall. A Jewish woman who saw the vandalism reported it to Victoria Police and the local Richmond Council, the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) said. The graffiti was then painted over by a council staff member.

In a statement Friday, ADC chairman Dvir Abramovich addressed the “poisonous alliance” between some opponents of the COVID-19 vaccine and antisemitic groups that are “feeding off each other’s conspiracy theories and wacky narratives.” He called on elected officials to condemn “this toxic intersection which may spill into violence” and explained how the coronavirus pandemic has produced a “fertile ground for extremists.”

“The neo-Nazis who first accused Jews of creating the ongoing pandemic are now using the growth of skepticism about vaccines, and the fact that many people are online during the lockdown, to spread their dangerous ideas to a wider audience,” he said. “This domestic radicalization is a cause for concern, and as the violent anti-lockdown, anti-vax protests of the last week in Melbourne and this latest incident demonstrate, there is a coalition of actors that have locked arms to spread these lies.”

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Abramovich said the ADC has uncovered antisemitic posts on a number of Australian anti-vaccine online platforms, including messages that falsely blame Jews for creating and releasing the COVID-19 virus. As a result, he said, those who may not have previously held antisemitic prejudices are now subscribing to the age-old libel “that Jews are always behind global crises and that is the vaccine is a bioweapon, part of a Jewish plot to establish a New World Order and to sterilize the white race.”

“This is the latest in centuries of blaming the Jews for the problems plaguing a society going back to Jews in medieval Europe accused of intentionally poisoning well,” Abramovich concluded.

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