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Confronting Reality: Anti-Semitism in Australia Today

Filed under: Antisemitism, World Jewry
Publication: Jewish Political Studies Review

Jewish Political Studies Review

Jewish Political Studies Review 16:3-4 (Fall 2004)


Australia has a well-earned reputation as being not only accepting but welcoming of Jews. Successive Australian governments have believed Australia has a role in combating anti-Semitism internationally, and acted accordingly. Anti-Semitism has often been spoken of as an illness of the Old World and the Third World, with Australian opinion leaders suggesting that the Australian national ethos of giving everyone a “fair go” effectively renders their country immune from anti-Semitism. In recent years, however, there has been a growing acknowledgment both of the presence of anti-Semitism in Australia, and that it is the responsibility of political and moral leadership to confront it.


On 16 February 2004, the House of Representatives of Australia deliberated on the issue of anti-Semitism.

A Private Member’s Bill, introduced by Peter King, a government parliamentarian representing the electorate of Wentworth in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, stated that the parliament took note of:

the long history of anti-Semitism and its lethal capacity to influence many people to express hatred and carry out violence against Jewish people; [an] alarming rise in the incidence of violent anti-Semitic acts in many countries which have killed Jews and non-Jews alike, the desecration of Jewish cemeteries and memorials and targeted assaults on individual members of the Jewish community; and [a] disturbing upsurge of anti-Semitic propaganda in print, on the Internet and circulated through emails, often in the form of false accusations that Jews are involved in conspiracies against other people.

The parliament then expressed “its unequivocal condemnation of anti-Semitism, of violence directed against Jews and Jewish religious and cultural institutions, and all forms of racial and ethnic hatred, persecution and discrimination on ethnic or religious grounds, whenever and wherever it occurs”; resolved “to condemn all manifestations of anti-Semitism in Australia as a threat to the freedoms that all citizens should enjoy equally in a democratic society and commits the Parliament to take all possible concrete actions at a national level to combat this threat to our peaceful and diverse nation”; and further resolved “to encourage Australian ambassadors and other officials engaged in bilateral contacts with other countries to use their influence to oppose and counter anti-Semitic expressions and to promote all possible efforts at fostering tolerance and community harmony.”1

Tellingly, this resolution was not only unopposed but attracted the support of the governing Liberal and National Party coalition, the opposition Australian Labor Party, and smaller parliamentary factions.2 In the months before the resolution was passed, a developing awareness of anti-Semitism had been identifiable in Australia.3 The bill’s formulation, with reference to “manifestations of anti-Semitism in Australia” and encouragement of the use of “bilateral contacts with other countries to use their influence to oppose and counter anti-Semitic expressions,” reflects the view that while there may be anti-Semitism in Australia, the position of Jews in other countries is not only far worse, but Australian governments have a responsibility to speak out on their behalf.

Australia’s Jewish community has long found the country a congenial home. Since the first days of European settlement of Australia in 1788 there have been Jews present, with the Jewish minority always being small in number but with a disproportionately high profile. Never having reached even 1 percent of the population, the Jewish community has supplied two governors-general, several senior military figures, and contributors in the arts, sciences, professions, academia, entertainment, and business. No professions have been formally banned to Jews, and even when what is now Australia was a group of British colonies, Jews were permitted to be elected to the various colonial parliaments, with a number of notable successes, before it was legal for Jews to contest elections in the United Kingdom. Although anti-Semitic elements were present in Australian society from the earliest days of European settlement, there has also been a strain of philo-Semitism, which was often more significant than the anti-Semitism.

The condition of contemporary Australian Jewry reflects its ability to thrive in culturally diverse, religiously pluralist Australia.4

Australia’s stances on international matters of direct interest to the Jewish community are evidence of the community’s political role in Australia and its success in advocacy. Issues of importance to the Jewish community have been understood to be relevant to the whole of Australia. For instance, Australia was the first country to raise the plight of the Soviet Jews at the United Nations.5 The General Assembly resolution that, on 16 December 1991, overturned the United Nations’ equation of Zionism with racism followed active lobbying by the Australian Labor Party government of Bob Hawke. Australia pursued the rights of Syrian Jews in the 1980s and 1990s.6 In more recent times, Australia was the first country to protest when a number of Iranian Jews were arrested on trumped-up spying charges, and Australia was also the country that spoke out most forcefully against anti-Semitism at the UN conference in Durban in 2001.7

According to the strong national ethos of modern Australia, what matters is not the country, society, or community a person comes from, but whether he or she is willing to contribute to and be part of Australian society. For most Australians, whether or not a person is Jewish is completely irrelevant or certainly far less relevant than his or her societal contribution.

Nevertheless, at times of stress there have been peaks in documented anti-Semitism, testifying to the presence in Australia of an anti-Semitic subculture. This anti-Semitism is manifested in a variety of ways and through a number of distinct vehicles.

One of the common defamations used by Australian anti-Semites is the association of Jewish people, language, and symbols with the Nazi genocide, such as accusing Jews of being “Nazi-like,” committing “Holocausts,” or maintaining “concentration camps.” To some extent, such claims have been made in Australia for more than two decades, reaching a crescendo during Israel’s Peace for Galilee campaign in Lebanon in 1982 and during the Arab anti-Israeli violence that commenced in late 2000.

Critics of Israel sometimes respond to the exposure of the fallacies of their arguments by invoking hostile anti-Jewish caricatures. For example, one well-known public detractor, rather than address her critics’ arguments, claimed in the House of Representatives that the “Jewish lobby” effectively controlled Australian political debate and made critics go “through hell.”8 Others have depicted Jews as having great drive and political power, from substantial influence on governments to “world domination.” One of the sources used to support this notion is the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which is advertised in many anti-Semitic, extreme right-wing, and New Age publications and reportedly sold at Arabic-language bookshops.9 This view is also tolerated or espoused by a number of self-described left-wing groups. For Australian Islamic and fringe rightist groups, the statements on “Jewish power” by then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed of Malaysia to the Organization of the Islamic Conference10 were sources of inspiration and encouragement.11

Predominantly in Sydney, during the last quarter of 2003 after mainstream Jewish organizations opposed the award of the “Sydney Peace Prize” to PLO propagandist Hanan Ashrawi,12 a so-called Jewish lobby was invoked as typifying the misuse of influence.

The presentation of Jews as holders of mysterious power can potentially spread the image of Jews, all Jews, as part of an implicitly conspiratorial elite, who cannot be treated as simply another group of Australians involved in public policy debates. For example, part of the reaction to revelations that there are Nazi war criminals in Australia holding Australian citizenship has been to stereotype Judaism as driven by the pursuit of vengeance.13

In the conspiracy theories of some extremist organizations, Judaism has been portrayed not only as un-Christian but also as anti-Christian. The Australian League of Rights, the Adelaide Institute, the British-Israel World Federation, “Identity” churches, and some self-styled “Biblical fundamentalists” cast Jews as religious, racial, or political opponents of Christianity.14

Some far-right activists have promoted the idea that Jewish power and influence has duped Australians into believing that the Nazis committed genocide, allowing Jews to impose their will on a guilt ridden population.15 Indeed, virtually all Australian far-Right and anti-Semitic organizations either advocate Holocaust denial or argue that Holocaust deniers have a right to serious academic consideration. Holocaust denial is usually a central plank in the anti-Semitic organizations’ platforms, even though some of these groups simultaneously express admiration for Hitler’s policies toward Jews. In the Federal Court case Jones v. Tobencm,16 the judgment established that Holocaust denial committed in Australia is racist as a matter of law. Nevertheless, Holocaust deniers have been establishing their own historiography and have shown an ability to exploit media opportunities and modern communication techniques to harass and intimidate Jews while attempting to mislead the Australian public.

The stereotyping of Jews as stingy or ostentatiously wealthy reinforces prejudices, leading in turn to further vilification.


Organized Extremist Groups

Let us turn now to a closer look at some of Australia’s anti-Semitic organizations.17 On the far Right are the Australian League of Rights, active in promoting anti-Semitism since the 1930s, which claims to consist of Christians who believe that Judaism is responsible for all the sins for which right-wing Christian churches have blamed the Jews historically, as well as the neo-Nazi, anti-immigrant Australian Nationalist Movement, which sees Jewish influence behind anything it regards as a social evil. The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission has identified the Australian League of Rights as the country’s best-financed racist organization.18

The far Right also includes small organizations claiming, among other things, that the Holocaust was an invention of Jews to extort money and guilt from Western societies. Historically, the most important of these has been the Australian Civil Liberties Union, which has links to the Institute for Historical Review in California. The highest profile Holocaust-denial group is the Adelaide Institute, a collection of extreme right-wing propagandists whose activities, as noted above, have been found to be in breach of Australia’s racial hatred laws. This group had previously gained prominence through its online presence. Indeed, the Internet permits some small organizations to maintain an existence and gives potential recruits a point of contact.

Some extreme left-wing organizations in Australia also publish material that is extremely defamatory of Jews, generally but not exclusively in the context of their attacks on Israel’s existence. Most of these groups compare Israel to Nazi Germany19 and imply that Jews control or unduly influence important national and international governmental instrumentalities.20 An Independent candidate in the 2003 New South Wales state election declared publicly: “I am standing at the NSW elections to offer this to the people, to understand the fact that the US and China and Russia are the greatest threats to world peace. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the Zionist bankers, who appear to be financing all sides of the conflicts as well.”21 There have been many reports by individual Jews – some of whom attended the rallies out of sympathy with the specific causes, some of whom were passing by – of being subjected to overt anti-Semitic abuse at extreme leftwing meetings and rallies, a logical consequence of this incitement.

Although the small groups on the Australian far Left often denounce racism in all its forms, demonization of Israel is a common thread and so is “Jewish internationalism.” Thus, the far Left’s themes are almost indistinguishable from those of the far Right. Most of the far Left groups say ambiguous, sometimes internally contradictory things about Jews and Middle East politics.

Not all the anti-Semitic organizations can be classified as far Right or far Left. Conspiracy-theory groups identified with quasi-New Age, Libyan-inspired “Third Way,” and political Islamist ideologies also provide their followers a steady diet of anti-Jewish propaganda.

In addition to organizations, though not necessarily separate from them, are individuals who are actively involved in distributing anti-Semitic material via the Internet, leaflets, and hate mail, or who express themselves via the mainstream media in the form of calling talkback radio, letters to the editor, soliciting attention from journalists, and so on. Often these individuals act in the name of an organization of which they are either the only member or the only active member.

Recent years have seen an increase in anti-Semitism from organizations and individuals representing a New Age or other fringe, alternative ideology. These groups’ rhetoric is heavily laden with conspiracy theories, as they seek to portray their views as rational alternatives to lifestyles imposed by forces acting to suppress or control “natural” behavior. There is a large overlap between far-Right organizations and those more directly concerned with promoting stories of visitations from other planets, nonconventional medical alternatives, and opting out of the organized economy.

Paranoid and extremist views about the “political and economic establishment” have drawn together far-Right, far-Left, and some anarchist groups in opposition to “globalization,” to various government policy proposals that they perceive as empowering a state that is an enemy, and to Israel. There has been almost interchangeable anti-Semitic rhetoric coming from groups that would regard themselves as being diametrically opposed, politically and ideologically.


Arab and Muslim Groups

Some of the most overt anti-Jewish rhetoric in recent years has come from the Muslim and Arab communities, despite the fact that key Muslim organizations have been active in speaking out against anti-Semitism and in collaborative ventures with Jewish groups.

In 1988, Sheik Taj El-Din El-Hilaly, then the imam of the largest mosque in Australia, gave a speech at Sydney University in which he described Jews as the cause of all wars and the existential enemy of humanity. The speech was entirely devoted to “the nature of the Jews.”22 At that time Hilaly was already in breach of the visa permitting him to live and work in Australia, and had attracted public attention because of speeches denouncing not only Jews but also Christians and women. Despite an attempt to deport him, political events transpired that allowed him to remain in Australia, and he was subsequently made the first and, so far, only mufti of Australia.

Hilaly’s principal adviser, a prominent member of the Lebanese Muslim Association named Keysar Trad, has not only acted as chief apologist for Hilaly but also linked his community with a number of extremist organizations. For several years Trad’s website was linked to Radio Islam, hosted by the notorious anti-Semitic Swede Ahmad Rami. In 2003 Trad addressed a meeting of the Australian League of Rights, and in 2004 he signed a petition promoted by Lyndon LaRouche’s followers in Australia.23

Within the Arab and Muslim communities there is a group of activists who seek at every opportunity to denigrate Jews, not only in association with attacks on Israel. In 2003 one Arab group, the Australian Arabic Communities Council, urged Australians to boycott certain Australian businesses, along with international companies, some of which had committed no greater offense than to have Jewish members on their boards of directors. Several Arabic-language newspapers have published vehemently anti-Jewish articles, including some promoting blood libel,24 some espousing Holocaust denial,25 and others maintaining that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion26 are not only historically accurate but are used by Israel as a guide to military and political strategy.

A real challenge for Australians concerned at the growth of anti-Semitism is the emergence of an Australian-educated Islamic generation that includes unambiguously anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish elements. For example, the president of the Federation of Australian Muslim Students and Youth, Seyed Sherifdeen, was quoted in 2003 as saying he was “deeply saddened by the genocide and collective punishment that is taking place against humanity in Palestine.”27

The discussions on Islamic and Arab Internet forums, and the content of postings to newsgroups, testify to a vigorous anti-Jewish subculture.28 For example, on the Islamic Sydney forum, postings claimed that “Jewish power” in the United States was the cause of most or all of the world’s problems, making a direct analogy between Israel and Nazi Germany. It was stated that “the 13 million Jews around the world are the most prosperous and powerful ethnic group in the world,” that “Anti-Semitism” has “NOTHING to do with Jews or Judaism,” that the U.S. media is Jewish controlled, that “‘expert’ Jews flow with ease between important national security jobs in the Government and Jewish owned or Israeli funded Washington Think Tanks,” that Jews donate to American political parties on the basis of which party “allows Israel a free hand to drench the soil of peace in the Holy Land with Arab Christian and Muslim blood” and that the existence of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is “illegal and outrageous.”29 A long commentary asserted that the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils was involved in “Betrayal of Truth” for not promoting the view that the war in Iraq was part of a plan for the “dramatic territorial expansion of the Jewish State” that will “then seek to become the ruling State in the world.”30 A Sydney academic posted an enthusiastic review of Jewish History, Jewish Religion by Israel Shahak, the late Israeli radical leftist, with an alleged quotation from Ariel Sharon stating that: “We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it.”31

It should be emphasized that this situation is only one facet of a complex relationship between Jewish and Muslim Australians, which also includes dialogue between representative organizations and active cooperation on social justice issues as well as educational and youth projects.



In contemporary Australia, Christian churches are often in the front line of defense of Jews against overt anti-Semitism, with most mainstream denominations making sincere and extensive efforts to understand the relationship between anti-Semitism and traditional church teaching. Although this is very much a dynamic process, complicated in some cases by political positions on the Middle East issues, it was significant that most mainstream Australian church figures took advantage of the screening of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ to caution their followers against anti-Jewish prejudice.

The Catholic Church in Australia was not only among the first national Catholic bodies to publicly disavow anti-Semitism and declare it a sin, but actively works against groups that seek to dishonestly proselytize Jews. Some of the Church’s leaders are closely aligned with the attitudes toward Jews of Pope John II, and others are clearly products of post-Vatican II teaching.

Within the Protestant churches, however, there is a range of attitudes toward Jews and Judaism. To begin with, Australia’s Anglican Church has varying attitudes from diocese to diocese regarding groups such as Jews for Jesus, Israel, and the legitimacy of Judaism as a religion.

The Uniting Church in Australia, for its part, has been involved in a national dialogue with the Jewish community for more than a decade. The Uniting Church constantly reviews its theology and its understanding of its relations with other faiths and other streams of Christianity. Within this Church there is a vocal anti-Israeli element, more influenced by the politics of the Middle East Council of Churches than by anti-Semitism, as well as a highly philo-Semitic group.

There are a number of Orthodox churches in Australia, some with a theology that is quite unfriendly toward Jews. In Australia, however, this aspect of their belief is rarely emphasized.

There are, however, Christian figures who publicly express hateful views toward Judaism and Jews. Recent examples include a letter published in a major tabloid in which a priest claimed that Christianity and Islam are religions of peace but “Zionists” are promoting “an apocalyptic show-down between the forces of Judeo-Christendom and Islam”;32 on national radio, a bishop who said that the “problem with Israel” continues “because there is Judaism and there is Zionism and when these two things are brought together [it] seems not compatible with the desire for peace and justice for anyone”;33 and a letter published in Australia’s largest circulation tabloid, written by a reverend, that referred to “the parasitical influence of Zionism on the US administration.”34



The mainstream media’s coverage of issues, both foreign and domestic, relating to the Australian Jewish community is extensive and out of all proportion to the community’s share of the Australian population. Moreover, on a range of issues, sections of the mainstream media seek the views of the Australian Jewish community. The coverage is generally responsible and does not unduly play on the “Jewishness” of individuals or of the issues. On some subjects, particularly those relating to the Holocaust, the coverage has generally been sympathetic to the community, though there is less sympathy when it comes to Israel and the Middle East. Sometimes, when discussing matters involving the Jewish community, Israel, or individual Jews, simplifications and inappropriate analogies are used in a way that arouses concern.

The behavior of Australian anti-Semites over a long period indicates that when they believe their activities are tolerated or even rationalized by sources of authority, which can include the mainstream media, they are far more likely to act on their ideology. This is particularly the case when anti-Semitic views are broadcast on the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) (in the form of anti-Semitic comments that are permitted on talk shows, stridently anti-Israeli material on television, or anti-Semitism in ABC-hosted Internet discussions), since this seems to signify that bigotry has received a government imprimatur.


Physical Manifestations of Anti-Semitism

In 1991 the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, an autonomous, government-funded institution that administers national antidiscrimination legislation, published a report on racist violence in Australia.35 The report, which contained a section on anti-Jewish prejudice in Australia, defined racist violence “to include verbal and non-verbal intimidation, harassment and incitement to racial hatred as well as physical violence against people and property.” Using this definition, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ), the umbrella organization of the Australian Jewish community, has been documenting more than 350 incidents of anti-Semitic violence, vandalism, or harassment over each of the past five years. Earlier, over a much longer period, the ECAJ was logging close to 250 incidents a year.

Such incidents include assaults prompted simply by the fact that a person was wearing a kipah; vandalism of synagogues or other communal institutions, with several arson attacks on synagogues being recorded in Australia over the past twenty years; anti-Semitic graffiti; hate mail; telephone threats and abuse; anti-Semitic emails, posters, and leaflets; and cases of verbal abuse of Jews in the street. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the perpetrator’s identity cannot be established. Very few perpetrators of anti-Semitic acts have ever been apprehended, and those who are identified are not necessarily representative of those who get away with their acts.

Based, however, on the content of anti-Semitic abuse and threats and on the impressions of the victims of attacks, in recent years it has been possible to hypothesize as to the perpetrators of approximately 50 percent of the attacks. Around 65-70 percent of the attacks appear to come from extreme right-wing or neo-Nazi groups, several of which exist in various parts of Australia. The next largest group of perpetrators appear to come from the political extreme Left, accounting for about 18 percent of all the acts that could be identified, with the remaining 12-15 percent attributable to Arab or Muslim perpetrators or people purporting to act in the interest of Arabs or Muslims.

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry releases an Annual Report on Anti-Semitism, with most media attention focusing on the physical incidences of anti-Semitism that it records. However, these do not necessarily constitute the most serious manifestations of anti-Semitism in Australia, and even when there are increases in such incidents it does not necessarily mean Australian society has become more anti-Semitic.


Responses to Anti-Semitism

The Australian Jewish community has adopted a range of responses to anti-Semitism. These include working toward the introduction of legislation giving recourse to victims of anti-Semitism, then using such laws; seeking political condemnations of anti-Semitism; and developing antiracism coalitions within civil society and through community education. Political and moral leadership is vital, especially when it stresses that anti-Semitism is an issue to be dealt with by the society as a whole, not just the anti-Semites’ targets. Education to combat prejudice, both formal and informal, gives the society a basis for responding to anti-Semitism.

In the first half of 2004, the Federal House of Representatives, the Federal Senate, and the parliaments of the largest states, New South Wales and Victoria, all adopted resolutions condemning anti-Semitism in terms identical or similar to those in the resolution cited at the beginning of this article, with most state and territory legislatures having passed motions condemning racism generally, and affirming the values of tolerance and diversity, during the past five years.

The good cooperation between different religious communities is marked by a number of joint statements and activities to combat racism and intolerance. For example, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the National Council of Churches in Australia, and the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils made a joint call for tolerance;36 a number of Christian groups and the Baha’i faith condemned anti-Semitic attacks;37 and Jewish groups have joined others in condemning racism against Australian Arabs and vilification of Muslims.38

One of the important ways in which church and civil organizations have asserted moral leadership against anti-Semitism has been to refuse to allow racist and anti-Jewish groups to hire their premises, while advising representatives to refuse to share platforms with known extremists. Extremist anti-Jewish groups have had increasing difficulty in finding premises in which to meet and in convincing Australians to participate in their activities.

The New South Wales government’s Community Relations Commission, and equivalent bodies in other states, have taken steps in recent years to involve broad sections of the community and government in both planning and implementing strategies to combat racism and build communal harmony.

The federal government has instituted a National Harmony Day, on the United Nations Day for the Elimination of Racism, which is marked by the government and the community in many ways, but is generally used to honor individuals and organizations that have been active in promoting Australian multiculturalism.

One of the most encouraging recent developments in responding to anti-Semitism and racism is the broad spectrum of educational initiatives, stemming from government, community organizations, the business sector, and individuals.

In January 2000, the Australian government participated in the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust. Australia was one of the countries that endorsed the final declaration,39 which included commitments to strengthen “efforts to promote education, remembrance and research about the Holocaust” and to “promote education about the Holocaust in our schools and universities, in our communities and encourage it in other institutions” as part of the reaffirmation of “humanity’s common aspiration for mutual understanding and justice.”

Jewish community organizations have increased activities directed at school-age Australians, promoting visits to schools by community representatives, visits to institutions such as the Sydney Jewish Museum, and the production of teaching materials on tolerance and on the harmful effects of racism.



In the report of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission on Racist Violence,4o in the section on anti-Semitism, the report’s authors republished the assessment of Sam Lipski, the then-editor of the Australian Jewish News. He had argued that

in Australia, it makes sense to distinguish between at least seven categories of anti-Semitic behaviour:

1) Physically violent acts or threats directed against Jews, Jewish institutions and Jewish property;

2) Verbal abuse against Jews in Jewish neighbourhoods;

3) Political agitation on the fringe by extremist groups accompanied by the dissemination of propaganda literature material of the racist (anti-black, anti-Asian) and classic anti-Semitic variety;

4) Public expression of hostility to Jews in the mainstream, church and ethnic media or in the mainstream ideas marketplace;

5) Private or casual prejudicial statements against Jews, sometimes described as ‘ritual anti-Semitism’;

6) Acts of discrimination against Jews in the work place;

7) Acts of terrorism against Jews or Jewish property by anti-Israel elements.41

Despite the social unacceptability of anti-Semitism in Australia, there have been well-documented incidents of each of the manifestations set forth by Lipski. The contemporary challenge for Australia is to develop effective strategies for limiting the impact of anti-Semitism, protecting the Jewish community from violence and harassment,42 giving legal recourse to victims of anti-Semitism, and ensuring that the positive historical experience of Jews in Australia continues well into the future.

*     *     *


1. For the full debate, see Australian House of Representatives Hansard, 16 February 2004, pp. 24, 528, 534.
2. A resolution supporting the House of Representatives’ Bill was adopted by the Senate of Australia on 22 March 2004. Contributions in support of the Bill came from the Australian Labor Party, the Liberal Party, the National Party, and the Australian Democrats. Green Party senators did not participate in the Senate debate, but later associated themselves with the resolution in a letter written to, and circulated by, the Anti-Defamation Commission of B’nai B’rith Australia.
3. For a compilation of articles published in Australia during 2003, see Jeremy Jones, Report on Antisemitism in Australia (Sydney: Executive Council of Australian Jewry, 2003), pp. 100-146; Jeremy Jones, “Terrorist and Racist Realities: The Jewish Community’s Concerns,” Australian Mosaic, Winter (August) 2003; Shelley Gare, “We’re Crossing the Red Line of Racism,” Sun Herald (Sydney), 14 September 2003.
4. For a summary of the factors in Australia militating against anti-Semitism, see W. D. Rubinstein, “The Politics of Anti-Semitism: The Australian Experience,” in Australian Anti-Semitism and Human Rights, Proceedings of a seminar held under the auspices of the Australian Institute of Jewish Affairs and the History Department of Melbourne University (Australian Institute of Jewish Affairs, 1985).
5. Suzanne D. Rutland, Edge of the Diaspora (Sydney: Collins Australia, 1998), pp. 386-388.
6. Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, Development and Trade of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, A Revision of Australian Effects to Promote and Protect Human Rights, December 1992 (Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Services, 1992).
7. Jeremy Jones, “Durban Daze,” The Review, October 2001, pp. 32, 21-22.
8. Julia Irwin of the Australian Labor Party in the House of Representatives, 9 December 2002.
9. On 18 May 2003, columnist Tim Blair of The Bulletin magazine reported that he had been to an Islamic bookstore in Sydney’s Lakemba suburb that sold discounted copies of The Protocols. In its February 2003 edition, the New Age publication Hard Evidence advertised The Protocols with a long article asserting that they are true and that Jews were responsible for the Bali terrorist bombings.
10. 17 October 2003.
11. On 29 October 2003, a letter to the Central Coast Herald asserted that “I believe Dr. Mahathir was right when he said that Jews are the global financiers of wars that benefit them, with interest.” On the web forum Islamic- Sydney, 18 October 2003, a series of contributors criticized “Jews who control the world’s wealth.”
12. On 25 October 2003, Sydney Morning Herald political reporter Alan Ramsey claimed the fact Hanan Ashrawi “is a Palestinian” is “enough to ensure a virulent campaign of distortion and ridicule by Jewish critics to brutalise her image.” Philip Adams, writing in The Australian, criticized the “so-called Jewish lobby” for “its efforts to suppress and censor” its enemies.
13. The most notable public figure to make this equation was Jeff Kennett, at the time premier of Victoria state and generally regarded as highly sympathetic to Jewish concerns. His views were reported by Tom Salon in the Herald Sun, 22 August 1997, p. 7, and condemnations by Jewish leaders were also widely reported at the time.
14. According to Betty Luks in On Target, 4 April 2003, Rhodesia was “lost” to Christianity because of “the Jews.”
15. See Jeremy Jones, “Holocaust Denial: Clear and Present Racial Vilification,” in Australian Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 1, No. 1 (1994).
16. Jones v Toben (includes explanatory memorandum) [2002] FCA 1150 (17 September 2002) at
17. Jones, in Report on Antisemitism, pp. 51-90, refers to twenty-eight different groups that had come to the Jewish community’s attention during the previous twelve months.
18. Racist Violence: Report of National Inquiry into Racist Violence in Australia, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Services, 1991), p. 200.
19. On 19 March 2003 The Guardian, the weekly newspaper of the Communist Party of Australia, published an article that opened with: “Under the cover of a war against Iraq the Israeli Government is preparing drastic measures against the Palestinian people in an outrageous [sic] act of suppression which, if they are implemented, could only be compared to the measures taken by the Nazis against the people of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and other countries during WW2.”
20. See P. Mendes, “The Australian Left and Anti-Semitism,” ADC Special Report No. 15, November 2003, B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission.
21. Nic Faulkner, Byron Bay Echo, 4 March 2003.
22. James Murray, “The Imam of Invective and His Doctrine of Hate,” The Australian, 21 November 1998, p. 7.
23. Sydney Morning Herald, 15 June 2004. LaRouche runs an international political cult that promotes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. For more details on Lyndon LaRouche, his movement, and the anti-Semitism at the base of the theories, see Dennis King, Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism (New York: Doubleday, 1989), esp. pp. 280-285.
24. For example, An Nahar, published in Sydney, printed an article “The Zionist Plan” that claimed Jews “have awakened the Christians’ hatred for them when they boldly embarked upon kidnapping Christian men and children and slaughtering them to obtain their blood for the purpose of kneading it with the unleavened bread of the Passover celebration,” 12 September 1985 (authorized translation). An Nahar was censured for this article by the Australian Press Council (Adjudication No. 294, 21 August 1986).
25. “The presumed holocaust was disproved by great writers and historians of the second world war events….The purpose is to blackmail the world” (translation by Ethnic Affairs Commission of New South Wales Translation Unit), Michael Haddad, An Nahda, 16 July 1992.
26. For example, an article by Charlie Ayoub, “Chattering in the Face of the Death Machine,” El Telegraph, 29 April 1996, led to a formal apology after a successful complaint was lodged by this author under the federal Racial Hatred Act (1995).
27. Salam, August 2003.
28. See Jones, Report on Antisemitism, 2001, 2002, 2003.
29. Mohamed Khodr, Islamic Sydney, 9 January 2003.
30. Sheikh Imran Hosein, Islamic Sydney, 2 April 2003.
31. Hana Dover, Islamic Sydney, 16 April 2003.
32. Vincent Rankin (Anglican priest), Daily Telegraph, 12 April 2003.
33. Tom Frame (Anglican bishop), ABC Radio, 20 April 2003.
34. Rev. Dallas Clarnette, Herald Sun, 22 September 2003.
35. Racist Violence: Report of National Inquiry.
36. Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims, and Jews, 24 March 2004,
37. One example of this was the letter to Prime Minister John Howard from the National NGO Coalition against Racism, 29 April 2002.
38. “A Call by Jewish, Muslim and Christian Leaders in Australia,” 11 April 2002, issued by the Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims and Jews.
40. Racist Violence: Report of National Inquiry.
41. Sam Lipski, Australian Jewish News, 9 November 1990.
42. For a recent comment on concerns of the Jewish community in this regard, see Martin Daly, “Walking in the Shadow of Hate,” The Age, 14 June 2004.

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JEREMY JONES is president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and senior contributing editor of The Review, published by the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council. He lectures and writes on anti-Semitism, and produces annual reports on anti-Semitism in Australia that have been published in Australia, the United Kingdom, and Israel for more than a decade.