I visit Ynet News every day to check on the latest headlines from Israel. I was seriously ticked off to read “Australian Jewish students report anti-Semitism” this morning. (18th November)
The B’nai Brith Anti-Defamation Commission surveyed Victorian university students to assess the frequency of anti-Semitism on campus. More than two-thirds (68%) reported they had experienced or observed some form of anti-Semitic behaviour.
They listed posters and signs as the most common form, followed by verbal abuse and prejudice.
Interesting to note, B’nai Brith was founded internationally in 1843. It is the world’s oldest community service group, which makes their findings all the more serious.
The survey revealed La Trobe University was the worst offender more than at Deakin, Melbourne of Monash. Swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti were among the offending symbols mentioned.
(Personally I would like to take the uni smart alecks on a visit to Auschwitz Death Camp and just leave them there for a night or two).
Out of fear, some Jewish students hide their identity.
“These results indicate a disturbing number of cases of anti-Semitism on campus in Victoria, creating a campus environment that is uncomfortable and sometimes intimidating for Jewish students.,” according to the Ynet story. That may be an understatement.
And There’s More…
In 2009 J-Wire published results of a 20-year study of anti-Semitism in Australia with remarks by Australia’s leading researcher into anti-Semiticv activity Jeremy Jones.
“Between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009, an unprecedented 962 reports of anti-Jewish violence, vandalism, harassment and intimidation were received by Australian Jewish organisations”, he said.
“It is important to emphasise that my research over 20 years indicates Australians are fundamentally tolerant and opposed to discrimination, vilification or harassment of Jews and other segments of the population, but that a relatively small number of fanatic and offensive individuals are increasingly active in trying to diminish the quality of life of Jewish Australians”, he noted.
“However, the latest twelve-month period saw the highest ever tally of reports of anti-Jewish violence, vandalism, harassment and intimidation, at a rate more than twice the annual average, mainly due to new peaks in abuse and harassment in public streets and via email”.
“More than in any other 12-month period, Jewish Australians walking to and from synagogue were abused by passing motorists, Jewish people were confronted with incitement against them in Australian cities, and abusive, offensive and intimidatory emails were received by Jewish Australians at their homes and workplaces”, he said
Mr Jones, the Director of International & Community Affairs for the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council and a former president of the ECAJ, has maintained a comprehensive database of anti-Jewish attacks since 1989, during which time he has logged 7,513 incidents which are defined by Australian government agencies as “racial violence” against the Jewish community.
He listed “The most significant developments over the past 20 years”
• as the crossing of a variety of “red lines” in anti-Jewish rhetoric, particularly from sections of the political Left, relating to false and offensive comparisons of Israel/Jews with Nazis/Nazism and unashamed association with fascist and antisemitic groups such as HAMAS;
• *the growth of a diverse, dynamic Muslim community which has segments which are actively anti-Jewish (as well as those who are actively opposed to antisemitism).
I was please Jeremy listed “a number of positive developments from Australian Churches in attitudes to Jews and Judaism.”
I am very concerned that some of the university studentssingled out in Victoria, may hope to one day be our politicians.
Hopefully that will never happen as the vast majority of Aussies still remember the Australian Lighthorse and the miracle in Beersheva.