Top Australian Jewish Organization Finds 35% Rise in Antisemitic Incidents Over Last Year
Australia has seen a serious rise in antisemitism over the past year, largely fueled by Israel’s May conflict with Hamas and the COVID-19 pandemic, a top Australian Jewish organization has found.
Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) research director Julie Nathan told the group’s annual conference that there had been a 35% rise in antisemitic incidents over 2020, with 447 incidents in total, the Australian Jewish News reported Tuesday.
This includes 272 physical attacks and 175 threats made through various channels. Abuse and harassment were up 14%, graffiti by 152%, antisemitic posters and stickers by 157%, and vandalism by 10%.
Nathan noted the eruption of racism during the May conflict in Gaza, which included attacks on Jewish institutions and homes, as well as the copious use of antisemitic imagery by anti-Israel protesters.
This included an antisemitic rally in Sydney held by the Islamist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir, which featured speakers calling for the genocide of Jews.
Nathan also cited exaggerated media coverage of violations of COVID-19 restrictions by “a tiny minority of Jews.”
“People were incensed at these breaches, made hate phone calls, emails were sent to synagogues and other Jewish organizations,” she said.
“Those opposed to COVID-19 government health measures, such as vaccinations and lockdowns, have moved from ranting online about conspiracy theories, especially including denigrating the Jews, to being much more active in organizing and attending rallies and street protests,” Nathan added.
She also noted the continuing presence of far-right antisemitism, with the biggest neo-Nazi group in Australia, the National Socialist Network, active in “recruiting, group bonding activities and propaganda.”
The group, she said, is active online “vilifying Jews, citing ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ as fact, support for Hitler, and the like.”