Jewish Political Studies Review 16:3-4 (Fall 2004)
Confronting Reality: Anti-Semitism in Australia Today
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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),
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)  FCA 1150
(17 September 2002) at http://www.ecaj.org.au.
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
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
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
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.
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.
The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect
those of the Board of Fellows of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
The above essay appears in the Fall 2004 issue of the Jewish Political Studies Review, the first and only journal dedicated to the study of Jewish political institutions and behavior, Jewish political thought, and Jewish public affairs.
Published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (http://www.jcpa.org/), the JPSR appears twice a year in the form of two double issues, either of a general nature or thematic, with contributors including outstanding scholars from the United States, Israel, and abroad. The hard copy of the Fall 2004 issue will be available in the coming weeks. This issue focuses on "Emerging Anti-Semitic Themes."
From the Editor - Manfred Gerstenfeld
Foreword by Natan Sharansky
Foundations of an Israeli Grand Strategy Toward the European Union by Yehezkel Dror
Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism by Robert Wistrich
Watching the Pro-Israeli Media Watchers by Manfred Gerstenfeld and Ben Green
Abusing the Legacy of the Holocaust: The Role of NGOs in Exploiting Human Rights to Demonize Israel by Gerald M. Steinberg
International Organizations: Combating Anti-Semitism
in Europe by Michael Whine
Confronting Reality: Anti-Semitism in Australia Today by Jeremy Jones
Anti-Semitism in Canada by Manuel Prutschi
Anti-Semitism in Germany Today: Its Roots and Tendencies by Susanne Urban
Iceland, the Jews and Anti-Semitism, 1625-2004 by Vilhjálmur Örn Vilhjálmsson
The Persistence of Anti-Semitism on the British Left
by Ben Cohen
Suing Hitler's Willing Business Partners: American Justice
and Holocaust Morality by Michael J. Bazyler
A Case Study: Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A.: A Battleground
for Israel's Legitimacy - by Joel Fishman
An Analytic Approach to Campus Pro-Israeli Activism
Case Study: John Hopkins University by Yonit Golub
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