Survey Finds 60 Percent of Jews in Australia’s Queensland State Have Experienced Antisemitism

A vehicle displaying a Nazi flag is seen outside Gladstone, Australia, in 2020. Photo: Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies.

August 11, 2021

Six in ten members of the Jewish community of Australia’s northeastern state of Queensland have been targeted by some form of antisemitism, a survey by a regional communal group has found.

The concerning findings, published by the Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies (QJBD), also showed that many antisemitic incidents — including abuse, harassment, intimidation, and bullying — occur in the workplace, suggesting a pervasive problem.

In particular, 15% of the survey respondents reported experiencing antisemitic hatred linked to Israel and Zionism, which has surged globally following May’s Israel-Gaza flare-up.

Activity from neo-Nazi groups within Queensland was also identified as major cause of rising antisemitism, with the QJBD urging state leaders to outlaw public displays of Nazi symbols.

“We are…calling on the state government to ban the public display and sale of items that include Nazi symbols, such as the swastika, which are used by racists with impunity,” QJBD Vice President Jason Steinberg said in a recent interview with the Brisbane Times.

“This will empower the police to remove and confiscate these items and be a useful tool in countering the proliferation of extremist ideologies.”

Recent cases of antisemitic hate in Queensland include “ZIONISTS F— OFF” scrawled in chalk outside an Israeli restaurant, the Nazi slogan “blood and soil” being spray-painted onto a train carriage, and a poster of a Jewish political candidate defaced with the words “ZIONIST PAWN.”

An array of other disturbing hate crimes, many of them white supremacist in nature, have also been documented in recent years.

In light of the survey findings and the overarching situation in Queensland, the QJBD is also pushing for a parliamentary inquiry into hate speech, which is due to produce a report by January 2022.