Antisemitic Incidents in Australia Rose 35 Percent in Past Year, New Report Finds
The number of reported antisemitic incidents in Australia rose 35 percent in the last year, from 331 to 447, according to a new study published by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ).
The ECAJ’s annual “Report on Antisemitism in Australia” — which can be read in full here — found increases from 2020 to 2021 in four categories: abuse/harassment (14% rise, from 128 to 147), graffiti (152% rise, from 42 to 106), stickers/posters (157% rise, from 28 to 72), and vandalism (10% rise, from 10 to 11).
The number of physical assaults — 8 — remained the same.
ECAJ Research Director Julie Nathan, the author of the 236-page report, commented, “The Israel-Hamas war in May 2021 contributed to the increase in antisemitic incidents. A total of 88 incidents was logged for the month of May alone, when the hostilities between Israel and Hamas occurred, compared to between 22 and 46 incidents for each of the other 11 months of the year.”
She added, “Behind the statistics lie some horrific personal stories of persistent antisemitic bullying of Jewish students at schools, the brutal physical assault of a man on his way to synagogue, the spray-painting of ‘Free Palestine. F*ck Zionist. Free Palestine’ on the signage at the front of a synagogue in Adelaide, the flying of a Nazi flag above a synagogue in Brisbane, and the draping of two Palestinian flags and two shredded Israeli flags at the front entrance of a synagogue in Sydney.”
“What is perhaps worse is the disgraceful discourse online and occasionally in the mainstream media of those who, for whatever reason, seek to rationalize or minimize this egregious behavior,” Nathan said.
She further noted, “Another prominent theme of the antisemitic discourse expressed during the year was a focus on blaming ‘the Jews’ for the COVID-19 pandemic, notably by COVID-19 denialists as well as by many of those opposed to government health measures, including vaccination mandates and lockdowns.”