60% of Jews in Queensland, Australia have experienced antisemitism, survey shows
60 percent of Jews in Queensland, Australia have experienced antisemitism, a new survey conducted by the Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies shows.
Speaking to the Brisbane Times on Monday, Board of Deputies Vice-President Jason Steinberg said that of those Jews who reported antisemitism, “half were either abused, harassed, intimidated or bullied simply because they are Jewish and, distressingly, many of these incidents occur in the workplace.” He added that nine in ten victims would not report incidents of antisemitism for fear of retaliation and the belief that the police could not help them.
Mr Steinberg also said that fifteen percent of Queensland Jews “also reported hate-fuelled incidents that related to Israel and/or Zionism”, and that the community had seen “an increase in activity by white supremacist, neo-Nazi and other far-right extremist groups whose members seem to act with impunity, as well as anti-Israel activists targeting local Jews.”
It was reported that Mr Steinberg urged authorities to increase efforts in tackling antisemitism, and urged to ban displaying the swastika.
Reported antisemitic incidents in Queensland from this year and last include “ZIONISTS F*** OFF” scrawled outside an Israeli restaurant in Brisbane, the Nazi slogan “blood and soil” spray-painted on a Brisbane train carriage, abuse on social media sent to a Jewish person in which the sender called for “another Holocaust”, and a poster of Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk being defaced with the words “ZIONIST PAWN”.
Members of Queensland’s Jewish community came forward to reveal details of antisemitic abuse that they had received. A 60-year-old Jewish man, living on the Gold Coast, had his home office defaced with the words “Heil Hitler” and Nazi symbols. He said: “I just think that antisemitism and the behaviour towards Jewish people in this country is treated as if it’s not important — as if it’s a joke.”
A mother from Townsville revealed that her daughters’ peers mocked the Holocaust, drew swastikas, and lauded Adolf Hitler. She also alleged that her daughter was told that she prayed “to the devil”. The woman said: “Where are they obtaining that information from? … I just feel like, they don’t take it as seriously as they do with other race issues.”
The results of this survey come only a few months after a separate survey was published which, in contrast, showed that Australians generally have a very positive view of the Jewish community.
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Image credit: Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies