February 23, 2020

Report: 30% Increase in Serious Anti-Semitic Incidents in Australia

Photo from Pixabay.

A new report from the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) found that there was a 30 percent increase in serious anti-Semitic incidents from 2018 to 2019.

The report, which was published on Nov. 24, states that there were 114 instances of anti-Semitic verbal abuse, harassment and intimidation from Oct. 1, 2018, to Sept. 30, 2019. That number was 88 over the same timeframe the year prior. 

“Jews continued to be verbally abused and harassed around synagogues on a regular basis, especially over the Jewish Sabbath of Friday evening and Saturday, and on other Jewish holy days and festivals,” the report states. “These are periods when many Jews are congregating at, and walking to or from, synagogue, providing anti-Semites with an easy target for verbal abuse, harassment and intimidation.”

Among the instances listed in the report include a man shouting at people in front of a Sydney synagogue in April, “All Jews are f—ed! You’re all s—.” Another instance involved a man shouting “Sieg Heil!” and making a Nazi salute while driving past a Melbourne synagogue in September.

The report also noted that instances of anti-Semitic graffiti increased from 46 in 2018 to 95 in 2019; examples listed in the report included graffiti stating, “Kill Jews” with swastikas surrounding it found in March on a building in Sydney.

Additionally, the number of anti-Semitic assaults increased from three in 2018 to four in 2019.

There have been 368 anti-Semitic incidents in Australia overall in 2019, compared to 366 in 2018.

“We need not only strong anti-incitement laws but also systematic education programs at schools and universities and responsible messaging from [the] community and political leaders,” ECAJ Research Director of Anti-Semitism Julie Nathan said in a statement. “It’s not just a government responsibility. Everyone stands to lose if racism continues to worsen. The responsibility falls on all of us”.

The Zionist Council of New South Wales said in a statement, “Despite being an overwhelming multicultural success story, Australia is not immune to anti-Semitism and there must be zero tolerance for this kind of hatred in our society. We acknowledge the bipartisan leadership and determination by our elected officials to combat anti-Semitism, including in the most recent remarks of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who reiterated that ‘Anti-Semitism has no place in this country,’ rightfully calling it ‘absolutely sickening and disgraceful.’”