The Australian State of Victoria has become the first in the country to officially ban the public display of swastikas.

The Parliament of Victoria has set penalties amounting to $22,000 Australian dollars (over £12,000) and a twelve-month prison term for anybody proven to be breaking the law.

The law does not, however, prevent certain faith communities, including Hindus, Buddhists and Jains from using the swastika, which has an long history as a peaceful symbol that long predates its appropriation by the Nazi Party, as part of their religious practice.

Victoria Attorney General, Jaclyn Symes, said: “I’m glad to see that no matter what side of politics, we can agree that this vile behaviour will not be tolerated in Victoria.”

The Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, a group which combats antisemitism in Australia, Dvir Abramovich, said that “The fact that we’ve got a resurgent white supremacist and neo-Nazi movement is a cause for concern in every state.”

With antisemitism increasing worldwide, Campaign Against Antisemitism reports on antisemitic incidents globally.

Two men, aged twenty and 21, have been charged with painting antisemitic and homophobic graffiti on a church in Greymouth, New Zealand.

The words “synagog [sic] of satan” were sprayed under a Star of David, alongside the words “Christ is risen” next to a Russian Orthodox cross, and “Leviticus 20:13”, a reference to a Biblical verse that is often used to give discrimination against homosexuals a religious justification.

The “Pink Church”, officially known as Gloria of Greymouth but which used to be known as St Peter’s Anglican Church, was designed by Jewish poet and artist Sam Duckor-Jones as a “queer place of worship” and an “immersive sculpture” in the former mining town.

In an Instagram post, the Church stated that “The Greymouth community responded beautifully, with love, support & outrage,” adding that “The Greymouth police moved quickly, taking this act of hate seriously.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

A Melbourne school is being sued by former pupils for allegedly “normalising” antisemitism.

Five former pupils of Brighton Secondary College are suing the school, alleging they were subjected to years of antisemitic bullying, discrimination and negligence. They allege that the principal, Richard Minack, gave speeches endorsing Nazis, called Jewish people sub-human and failed to protect his students from racial discrimination.

According to the students’ barrister, Andrew Butt, four out of the five left the school mid-way through a school year due to the “intolerable” and “hostile” school environment. “We’re talking here about a normalised culture of antisemitism,” Mr Butt stated.

Teachers Paul Varney and Demi Flessa are also named in the lawsuit. The state of Victoria is also being sued for allegedly “condoning” the behaviour. The school, the state of Victoria and all other respondents deny all the allegations.

The students – Joel Kaplan, Liam Arnold-Levy and three minors who cannot be named – allege that they experienced physical and verbal bullying by students and teachers between 2013 and 2020. They claim that the school was “littered” with swastika graffiti drawn on students’ hands and on desks and that they were also subjected to Nazi salutes.

Two of the students allege they were held at knifepoint or assaulted by fellow students, who were not punished.

Mr Minack is alleged to have given speeches referencing his father and grandfather, who had connections to the Nazis during WWII. According to Mr Butt, Mr Minack allegedly “endorsed his Nazi father as a ‘good man’ and at least once referred to Jews as ‘sub-human’ and ‘evil’.”

Former pupil Mr Arnold-Levy, now 21, told the court that, when approaching his Bar Mitzvah, he had decided to wear a kippah to school to show that he was proud of his Jewish heritage. He claimed that within the first hour of walking into his class “it was like target practice.” He claimed that fellow students tore the kippah from his head and threw it in the bin; he had coins thrown at him and was called names including “dirty Jew” and “vermin”; and his locker was defaced with “Heil Hitler.” He told the court that “the harassment happened every day.” Feeling frightened and distraught, Mr Arnold-Levy said that he complained several times to the school’s administration office.

He told the court: “They wrote down what I told them and said they’d give it to the principal” but “nothing ever happened.”

Other allegations include a student being told to remove his Star of David necklace and students not being allowed to complete a project on a former Israeli Prime Minister.

Mr Butt said the school’s failure to protect the students contravened Australia’ Religious Discrimination Act and violated the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Children. “They didn’t feel like they could be openly Jewish at the school,” Mr Butt said.

A recent report into antisemitic bullying at the school discovered an extensive list of alleged incidences of bullying “that spanned years”. Legal representatives of the parents of the young victims expressed regret that the report failed to hold the current leadership of the school to account.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project. 

Police in Melbourne are investigating an attack on two Jewish people, leaving one with severe injuries.

One victim, Yacov Gozlan, 50, said that he saw a visibly Jewish individual being attacked. Mr Gozlan was leaving a supermarket at the time. He confronted the attacker, who was allegedly holding the victim up against a transit van. 

On being asked, Mr Gozlan confirmed to the attacker that he too was Jewish, before the victim used Mr Gozlan’s intervention to run inside the supermarket. The assault then continued against Mr Gozlan himself, however, and he was allegedly punched and knocked to the ground.

Victoria Police have confirmed that they arrested a 33-year-old man at the scene of the incident. It is understood that he is cooperating, and so far no charges have been filed.

A spokesperson for Victoria Police said that they “understand incidents of antisemitism can leave communities feeling targeted, threatened, and vulnerable. We treat any reports of antisemitism seriously.”

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Image credit: Screenshot taken from The Algemeiner

Five former pupils are suing Brighton Secondary College in Victoria, Australia, reportedly accusing it of tolerating an antisemitic culture.

News reports in 2020 about allegations of antisemitism at the school were followed by the launch of an investigation by the Victorian Department of Education. The 124-page resulting report included eighteen recommendations to improve the reporting and the monitoring policies at the school, and other mechanisms to deal with racist and antisemitic behaviour.

Now, five former pupils are suing the school, reportedly alleging that it tolerated an antisemitic culture that “robbed them of their right to be educated in safety”. Twenty other students are involved in the legal action as well.

One pupil described the school as a “prison culture” and how reporting bullying to staff would only increase its severity. Knife assault is among the incidents that the boy claims to have faced.

The pupils also claim that they were discriminated against by the school’s administration. One student alleges that he was criticised by a teacher because he had “started growing facial hair in accordance with Jewish tradition and law”. The boys claimed that the school’s efforts to address antisemitism were poor, including one class where the Holocaust graphic novel Maus was taught, and teachers were unable to stop laughter and Jewish pupils being called “rats”.

The school has denied legal liability but has reportedly admitted that there were some acts of antisemitism. However, the school has claimed that “the antisemitic acts were small in number and done by a small number of students”. The school also rejected the accusation that it tolerated swastika graffiti.

The case comes as the Jewish Community Council of Victory launches a professional learning programme and a bystander training programme at Brighton Secondary College to give teachers training for how to deal with Antisemitism.

A case against the State of Victoria was launched last year.

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A new survey has revealed a “concerning” level of antisemitism among New Zealanders.

The Antisemitism Survey of New Zealand, conducted online by Curia Research and published by the New Zealand Jewish Council, asked more than 1,000 citizens whether or not they agreed with eighteen statements deemed to be antisemitic. 63 percent of those asked agreed with at least one statement while six percent agreed with nine or more statements.

The survey charted four broad trends: the New Zealand public’s knowledge about the Holocaust; reception of “classical” antisemitic statements relating to Jewish power, money, and loyalty; “anti-Israel” antisemitism, such as comparisons between the policies of the Israeli Government and those of the Nazis; and what the report characterised as miscellaneous antisemitism, comprising statements about how societies should treat “Zionists”, the relationship between Jews and “white privilege” and Jewish indigeneity to Israel.

The survey found that 21 percent of people believed two or more “classical” antisemitic statements, such as “Jews have too much power in international financial markets”, while six percent held a staggering nine or more antisemitic views.

Seven percent agreed with the assertion that Israel does not have the right to exist as a majority Jewish state. Questions regarding the Holocaust revealed that only 42 percent correctly identified that six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, but that seventeen percent confessed to knowing “virtually nothing” about it, while six percent thought that the Jews brought the Holocaust on themselves. 

Deborah Hart, Board Chair of the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand, said: “Misinformation about the Holocaust – or Holocaust distortion – is a form of antisemitism. It minimises the suffering of a great number of Jewish families and the murder of their loved ones.”

Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination networks have become known as hotbeds of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Image credit: Sussex Friends of Israel

A poster of a Jewish MP in Australia was defaced with a swastika and an Adolf Hitler moustache recently.

The election poster of Josh Burns, who represents Australia’s Labour Party and is the Federal Member of Parliament for the Melbourne division of Macnamara, was vandalised with a black marker. On his forehead, a swastika was drawn, along with a kippah, Hitler moustache and beard.

Mr Burns said: “It was obviously very disappointing to see this kind of ugly graffiti in the heart of our local community, but I was overwhelmed with the support I received from parliamentary colleagues on both sides of the political divide, and from people across the nation. 

“There’s no place for the swastika in Australia and there’s no place for antisemitism or any form of racism in this country. The ugly actions of a small few will only galvanise us to keep fighting against antisemitism, racism and extremism.”

Mr Burns posted the photograph to his Facebook profile, writing: “I’m not putting this up for sympathy – to be honest, I’ve got thicker skin than that. But I’m putting this graffiti up as a reminder that there are some lines that shouldn’t be crossed. And because democracy is precious and needs defending. 

“Elections can be brutal and sometimes politics in Australia is not practised at the highest level. I get that. But being able to freely express one’s political views, peacefully and respectfully, is an essential part of Australia.” 

“It will be cleaned today and we will continue on with a full day of campaigning,” he added. “With even more determination and focus to help shape and build our wonderful, democratic Australia.”

Last year, State of Victoria announced that it was expected to become the first Australian state to ban the display of Nazi symbols.

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The Australian State of New South Wales (NSW) is close to banning the swastika following the reporting of some 31 incidents in which the Nazi symbol was displayed.

The bill, introduced by opposition Labour Party member Walt Secord, would ban the public display or dissemination of the Nazi symbol. The bill imposes maximum penalties of approximately 4,000 Australian dollars (£2,250) and six months in prison and includes exemptions for its use in Hindu traditions.

Following a joint endorsement for the bill from the NSW Board of Deputies and the Hindu Council of Australia, the Standing Committee on Social Issues will now consider amendments before sending the bill to Australia’s upper legislative body for debate.

“The Nazi swastika is an emblem of pure evil,” said Board of Deputies CEO Darren Bark in a joint statement with the Hindu Council of Australia. “It represents the dehumanisation of millions of people; the death of our Australian servicemen and women; and one of the most inhumane, hate-based and murderous regimes and ideologies to ever exist.”

Mr Secord, the Shadow Minister for Police and Counter-Terrorism, introduced the bill following a report by Australia’s ABC News stating that police had seen a rise in extremist behaviour in NSW. He said that in 2020, police were notified 31 times about Nazi symbols and flags, but were powerless to act.

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The grandson of two Holocaust survivors has discovered a trove of Nazi memorabilia being sold in the Australian state of New South Wales.

Dr. Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, called for the ban of Nazi memorabilia in Australia and said that “If Hitler were alive today, he would be applauding them for glorifying his barbaric crimes and keeping his monstrous legacy alive.”

“This lurid trade has to stop, and I call on all governments to honour the sacrifices of the brave Australian diggers made in defeating Hitler, and to follow the state of Victoria’s lead by planning to legislate and ban the public display of Third Reich symbols,” he added.

In September, Victoria announced that it would become the first Australian state to ban the display of Nazi symbols. 

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project. 

Image credit: Anti-Defamation Commission

A signed photo of Hitler and other Nazi memorabilia, as well as an antisemitic children’s book, are up for sale in an auction in Queensland, Australia.

The sale, which also includes sunglasses worn by senior Nazi figure Hermann Goering, is being carried out next week by Danielle Elizabeth Auctions, which was condemned a year ago for selling a Nazi flag and earlier this year for auctioning other Third Reich and Holocaust items.

According to the auctioneers’ own website, the German book on sale (Trust No Fox on his Green Heath and No Jew on his Oath) is “one of the most contentious pieces of propaganda in modern history” and “teaches children, according to the Nazi Party in Germany, what a Jew is and what they look like.”

The Managing Director of the auction house, Dustin Sweeny, reportedly said that the sale is not illegal and “certainly not antisemitic,” adding: “we sell history and historical artefacts that tell a story that the world should never stop telling so history does not repeat itself.” He complained of receiving death threats over past auctions of Nazi items. He went on to say: “Remember we live in a free democracy, and as much as you believe these items should not be sold, we believe they should, and everyone should respect everyone else’s right to a different opinion.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has launched a new weekly podcast. New episodes of Podcast Against Antisemitism are available every Thursday and can be streamed here or downloaded wherever you get your podcasts.

A rabbi was subjected to antisemitic abuse in Melbourne, it was reported yesterday.

During the incident, which occurred one month ago at Crown Melbourne, a man reportedly approached the rabbi where he then alleged that the rabbi was filming him and his family. The rabbi replied by saying that he was not filming and was only checking his phone. The stranger then hurled insults at the rabbi and reportedly said: “You’re one of those [that] Hitler didn’t finish.”

The rabbi reportedly remained calm during the incident but later described it as “traumatising,” adding that he never imagined that he would receive this sort of hate in Melbourne.

In September, the State of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, announced that it would become the first Australian state to ban the display of Nazi symbols.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has launched a new weekly podcast. New episodes of Podcast Against Antisemitism are available every Thursday and can be streamed here or downloaded wherever you get your podcasts.

Jewish students in Australia are suing the State of Victoria over allegations that Brighton Secondary College in Melbourne reportedly ignored claims of antisemitic bullying.

The State, in addition to the principal and two teachers at the college, now face a Federal Court hearing in proceedings for breaching of the Racial Discrimination Act and negligence. The students have accused the college of creating a “prison culture”.

Lawyers for the State and school staff deny the accusations.

The case comes a year after an inquiry was launched into the accusations, the results of which the parents of the students were unhappy with. Jane McCullough, a lawyer representing the students, said at the time: “The families do not believe that the report and its findings go in any way far enough towards combating a significant problem of antisemitism at Brighton Secondary College, nor does it provide an acceptable outcome or justice for them. The families will continue to fight to be heard and for justice for their children.”

The inquiry was launched after an investigative piece was written by The Australian Jewish News, which reportedly unearthed a long list of claims that “that spanned years, with one Jewish student said to have been lured to a park where he was robbed and beaten at night, and another allegedly threatened with a knife in a school bathroom. One boy said he was told to ‘Get in my oven’ and had ‘Heil Hitler’ chanted at him. Countless instances of swastikas were said to be daubed on school walls and property, and allegations of inaction were directed at the principal and coordinators.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Australia has banned the antisemitic genocidal terrorist group Hizballah in its entirety

Until now, Australia only proscribed the so-called “military wing” of Hizballah, but, since such a division is entirely artificial, Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews has now rightly extended that ban to all of Hizballah’s operations.

She noted that the Iran-backed terror group “continues to threaten terrorist attacks and provide support to terrorist organisations,” and poses a “real” and “credible” threat to Australia.

The ban means that membership, public support and financing of Hizballah will be illegal in Australia.

Ms Andrews also announced today that her country would be proscribing the far-right group The Base, which she described as “a violent, racist neo-Nazi group known by security agencies to be planning and preparing terrorist attacks.”

In 2019, the UK banned Hizballah in its entirety, and last week, the Home Secretary Priti Patel announced a full ban on the antisemitic genocidal terrorist Hamas in the UK, following calls by Campaign Against Antisemitism and allies.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

A white supremacist sticker was affixed to a Jewish grave in Tasmania, Australia.

The sticker, with the words “White Force – Old School Aussie Hate”, was stuck over a Star of David on a grave at Launceston’s Carr Villa Cemetery.

The vandalism was reportedly discovered by a Jewish mother and daughter who visit the cemetery every week.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Image credit: Anti-Defamation Commission

A man has been ordered to appear in court after a Nazi flag flown was over a synagogue on the Jewish Sabbath in Brisbane, Australia.

The flag was flown on Saturday from the UniLodge student accommodation building on Margaret Street which towers over the synagogue. Police were called to the scene and the flag has since been seized. 

A 45-year-old man has been ordered to appear in court on a public nuisance charge.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said on Twitter that Saturday’s incident was “sickening” and “pure evil”, adding that it was “time for this vile flag to be banned in Queensland.”

Currently, Victoria is the only Australian state that has called for a ban on Nazi symbols.

Lord Mayor Schrinner also said that “Under the current inadequate laws”, the incident was “likely to be classified as nothing more than a low-level ‘public nuisance’,” which he deemed “not good enough.” 

A survey conducted earlier this year found that 60 percent of Jews in Queensland, Australia have experienced antisemitism.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

An Australian anti-vaccination blogger has received backlash after uploading photographs to social media in which she placed yellow stars on her children and wore a concentration camp inmate’s uniform.

Sarah Mills, who is popular in anti-vaccination circles, has a following of more than 100,000 followers across Instagram, TikTok and Facebook.

In one photo, which she accompanied with the words, “history is repeating itself”, the mother of three can be seen with her children posing whilst wearing the yellow star that was forced upon Jews during the Holocaust with the words “No Vax” written on them. The caption to the photo read: “As of today I may no longer enter restaurants, cafes, theatres, cinemas, concerts, museums, sporting events, pools, clothing stores or anything deemed non-essential. I live in regional [New South Wales] so we’ve been living freely for a while now, until today. Yesterday I was safe to be in public, today I am a threat.”

In another image captioned “Prisoner 385968 reporting for duty”, Ms Mills can be seen wearing the blue and white uniforms that prisoners in concentration camps were forced to wear with a number tag. She added: “Does anyone know where we get our full uniform? I’ve found the shirt but wasn’t sure if there’s anywhere you can get them as a set? or are we just provided them upon arrival? Sending love to my future inmates.”

In a previous post in which she referred to her perception of a division between people who chose to have the COVID-19 vaccination and those who did not, the blogger wrote: “I’m starting to learn who would have hidden Anne Frank and who would have turned her over to the Nazis.”

Ms Mills denied comparing unvaccinated people to Holocaust victims, telling Daily Mail Australia: “I am in NO way comparing the deaths of millions of people to not being allowed into Kmart, but people need to look at where that ‘them/us’ situation began.”

The inflammatory and misleading comparison has been used among anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination networks, which have become known as hotbeds of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes.

In August, antisemitic protest signs have prompted hate speech and incitement of violence investigations in France. Earlier this year, organisers of an anti-vaccine demonstration in the city of Avignon were described as “brainless” for using the Nazi yellow star in their protest. Joseph Szwarc, a Holocaust survivor, spoke out against these use of the yellow star, saying: “You can’t imagine how much that upset me. This comparison is hateful. We must all rise up against this ignominy.” With tears in his eyes, Mr Szwarc added: “I wore the star, I know what that is, I still have it in my flesh. It is everyone’s duty to not allow this outrageous, antisemitic, racist wave to pass over us.”

The comparison has been made across the world, including in the United States, Canada, Ukraine and elsewhere.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Image credit: Facebook

The UK and Australia have jointly repudiated a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council that pretended to condemn racism while endorsing the antisemitic Durban process.

The UK’s Permanent Representative in Geneva, Simon Manley, issued a Joint Statement on the Resolution Calling for Action Against Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance on behalf of both nations, in which he reiterated the UK and Australia’s “commitment to combating all forms of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia and related intolerance whether that be at home or abroad.” He further insisted that the two allies are “committed to engaging on UN resolutions which consider how to eliminate racial discrimination.”

However, Mr Manely went on to declare that the UK and Australia “do not agree with the multiple references to the Durban Conference [in the resolution], given the historic concerns over antisemitism.”

Mr Manley was referring to the Durban conferences, while, while presented under the guise of combatting racism, have previously provided a stage for antisemitic hate speech and actions. At the original 2001 conference in the South African city, there were attempts to equate Zionism with racism, in an echo of the United Nations’ darkest period. Subsequent review conferences in the Durban series have included the distribution of the notorious antisemitic propaganda, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an early twentieth-century forgery long used to incite mob violence against Jews, as well as then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad referring to the Holocaust as “ambiguous and dubious.”

Mr Manley observed that “the UK and Australia did not attend the recent 20th anniversary commemorative event for the Third World Conference Against Racism. There were reportedly nearly 40 states who, like us, made the decision not take part.”

He said that the two Western nations “cannot accept the references [in the resolution] to the Durban Review Conference or the positive language welcoming the recent commemorative event in New York.”

He urged the Council to consider “why so many states stayed away and how we can move forward,” and declared that “racism should be tackled in all its forms and, regrettably, for far too long, the UN has downplayed the scourge of antisemitism. This must end. The UK is clear that we will not attend future iterations of the Durban Conference while concerns over antisemitism remain.”

He ended by calling for a vote on the resolution so that the UK and Australia could vote against it.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss reiterated on Twitter that “The UK is committed to tackling antisemitism and racism around the world,” rightly observing that the UK and Australia’s stance on this resolution is entirely consistent with that commitment.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “We welcome this joint statement by the Governments of the UK and Australia that calls out the UN Human Rights Council’s hypocrisy, claiming to fight racism on the one hand while endorsing antisemitism on the other. No fight against racism can succeed if it ignores, marginalises or enables racism against Jewish people. It is time that the UN and its institutions learned that.”

Antisemitic graffiti has been discovered spray-painted on an IKEA store in Melbourne, Australia.

The shop, located in the suburb of Richmond, was reportedly defaced last Thursday with the words “No Jew Jab for Oz” and, on another wall, “No Jew Jab”.

It was noticed by a Jewish woman who reported the vandalism to Victoria Police. Richmond Council painted over the graffiti.

The Anti-Defamation Commission observed the “poisonous alliance” between anti-vaccination networks and antisemitic groups that are “feeding off each other’s conspiracy theories and wacky narratives.”

Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination networks have become known as hotbeds of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Image credit: Anti-Defamation Commission

Australian activists have condemned antisemitic graffiti in a park in Keilor, a suburb of Melbourne.

Swastika graffiti was found in Caroline Chisholm Park, which has since been removed by Brimbank Council and reported to the police.

A Council official said that the hateful graffiti “has no place in our community,” and police pledged to step up patrols. Local MP Andrew Giles launched a petition calling on the community to “reject this sort of hate.”

Antisemitic graffiti has also been found in Broadmeadows and Mernda, also Melbourne suburbs, over the past month.

A spokesperson for Victoria Police said: “We understand incidents of antisemitism can leave communities feeling targeted, threatened and vulnerable. These incidents have no place in our society. There is no excuse to engage in behaviour that promotes fear or hate in our community. We treat any report of antisemitism seriously, whether it happens on the street or online.”

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Victoria is expected to become the first Australian state to ban the display of Nazi symbols, it was announced today.

The proposed law is expected to come into effect during the first half of next year and would ban the public display of swastikas and other Nazi symbols, but not for educational or historical purposes.

Jaclyn Symes, the State of Victoria’s Attorney-General, said that the move would “send a strong signal” to Victorians, adding: “This abhorrent behaviour has no place in our state. The fact that you’re having to ban something that shouldn’t be happening in 2021 is quite sad, but it’s necessary.”

The announcement comes weeks after the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, condemned antisemitism in the Australian State of Victoria as “unacceptable and evil”.

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The Australian pop-punk band, The Spazzys, has stated that the band is “shocked and saddened” after it was reported that one of its former band members was involved in posting neo-Nazi hate speech.

An article published on Tuesday alleged that Alice McNamara, the real name of the former band member who performed under the name Ally Spazzy, had “been posting neo-Nazi and anti-lockdown propaganda under an online alias”. The article stated that Ms McNamara was a musician but did not specify her as a member of The Spazzys.

Kat Spazzy, the band’s lead singer, took to Instagram on behalf of both her and Lucy Spazzy, her sister and fellow band member, to voice their joint condemnation of their former band member.

In the comments section of writer Tom Tanuki’s Instagram post, in which he stated that the Alice McNamara named in the article was indeed the former member of The Spazzys, Kat wrote: “It has come to my attention this morning, that Ally Spazzy, a former member of our band, is alleged to have been involved in posting online hate speech. Ally’s views had become increasingly odd, irrational and conspiratorial over recent years, indeed, that is the reason why The Spazzys have not been able to play together for some time.

“We are shocked and saddened to now discover that she is alleged to have been anonymously posting in support of neo nazi beliefs. Lucy Spazzy and I condemn such views in the strongest possible terms. They are abominable and offensive to us. They do not reflect that attitude and character of the band either before or after Ally was a member.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

The Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, has condemned antisemitism in the Australian State of Victoria as “unacceptable and evil”.

In a press conference held yesterday, Mr Andrews responded to remarks made by a hospital worker in which she stated that the people who attended an “illegal” engagement party should be “should be put in a gas chamber”.

The hospital subsequently dismissed the employee from her role and said in a statement: “We are aware of a hospital support staff member who made an abhorrent and disgraceful antisemitic comment on Facebook. The comment does not reflect the Royal Melbourne Hospital and our values. We do not tolerate racial or religious hatred, contempt or ridicule. The staff member is no longer an employee of the hospital and we apologise for the hurt and anger this has caused. We stand with and support our Jewish staff members, patients and community.”

Mr Andrews, stating that he wanted to “call out some pretty appalling commentary”, said that “antisemitism is unacceptable and evil, and we have a zero-tolerance approach to that in our State”. Referring to the engagement party, Mr Andrews stated that “it was a stupid function, it was an illegal function” and that “those people are being dealt with”, but was keen to emphasise that the individuals who broke the rules were “not a reflection of the Jewish community more broadly” and that “it was not an act of faith or culture”. “It was not something that anyone should use to reflect upon a broader group of people in our Victorian community,” Mr Andrews said.

The Victorian Premier added: “We have a proud, Jewish community. A significant, Jewish community. And it is simply unacceptable and evil for anyone to be trading in some of the antisemitic behaviour and comments that we’ve seen recently…there is never, ever a place in Victoria for antisemitic behaviour or language. It’s simply evil.”

Last week, it was reported that 60 percent of Jews in Queensland have experienced antisemitism, according to a new survey.

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.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

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.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Image credit: Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies

A furious row has broken out in Melbourne after a leading Australian barrister posted a tweet comparing Israel to Nazi Germany.

Melbourne QC Julian Burnside sparked outrage at the Victoria Bar after he tweeted that Israel’s “treatment of Palestinians looks horribly like the German treatment of the Jews.” The barrister later issued an apology for his tweet and removed it saying that a “friend at the bar” who had lost family during the Holocaust had contacted him and explained why his comparison was offensive.

Subsequently, Mr Burnside’s wife, Kate Durham, tried to defend the tweet but added fuel to the fire when she told Jewish federal politician Josh Frydenberg that Mr Burnside “knew more about the Holocaust and its subsequent trials” than Mr Frydenberg, adding: “You’re just a Hungarian.”

She subsequently removed her tweet, apologised, and said that she was “unreservedly sorry” for her remarks and that in defending Mr Burnside, she had “made things worse.”

The row had escalated sharply after Mark Leibler, senior partner at one of Australia’s top law firms and a Jewish community leader, expressed his “astonishment” that the President of the West Australia Bar Association, Martin Cuerden, had criticised a senator for suggesting that Mr Burnside should face sanctions from his professional body.

Mr Leibler also rebuked Mr Cuerden for failing to condemn the “blatantly antisemitic post” and said it was “disingenuous at best” for Mr Cuerden to try and defend it “using the principle of free speech.” “Let’s be clear, no one is seeking to limit Julian Burnside’s freedom of speech,” he said.

Mr Leibler also wrote that it was “inconceivable” that in 2021, the president of a State bar association “would suggest that it was ‘a matter of public interest’” for a “respected” member of the Bar to be “spreading antisemitic hate.”  

Mr Cuerden subsequently acknowledged that the tweet was antisemitic. Welcoming this acknowledgment, Mr Leibler said that he “hoped and trusted” the Bar Association President now understood the issue had nothing to do with freedom of speech. “People can speak as freely as they wish in this country,” Mr Leibler wrote “but when public figures promote ideas that are antisemitic…their suitability to hold a position of influence is called into question. That is what this issue is about.”

Mr Leibler also noted that by deleting the tweet, Mr Burnside himself “recognised, after the fact, that his comments had crossed the line into antisemitism.”

Mr Burnside is a former high-profile candidate for the Greens Party whose leader Adam Bandt moved to distance his party from the comment.

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is an example of antisemitism.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project. 

An Orthodox Jewish school in Melbourne has been vandalised with graffiti that depicts the slogan “Free Palestine.”

The words were spray-painted on the driveway of the Cheder Levi Yitzchok school. It is understood that Victoria state police are investigating the incident.

The graffiti was reported to the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC), an Australian organisation that tackles antisemitism. The group then informed Port Philip City Council which removed the graffiti.

ADC Chair Dvir Abramovich said of the incident: “To attack a Jewish institution in order to express a hatred against Israel is antisemitic, and these activists have torn up the rule book of decency and are now targeting Jewish schools with their vicious propaganda and calls to destroy Israel.

“Their desire to intimidate and sow fear knows no bounds…to defile a place where children play and learn is beyond words and beyond contempt and it is not a surprise that parents would be very concerned about the safety of their children. This is not what Australia is about.”

He added, “I hope that those cowards who committed this sickening outrage are identified and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Image credit: ADC

A survey in Australia that was conducted in January and February revealed that Australians have a very positive view of the Jewish community.

The survey, entitled “Crossroads21: Australian attitudes to Jewish people, antisemitism and Israel”, was commissioned and funded by Plus61J, an online news outlet that focuses on Israel, Australian and the Jewish world, and was conducted by Australia’s Social Research Centre.

The survey – the first of its kind since the mid-1980s – involved 3,459 respondents. More than 92 percent of respondents said they were comfortable having Jewish friends while more than 80 percent of respondents disagreed with the notion that Jewish people talk about the Holocaust to further their agenda, or that they can’t be trusted in business. Well over 70 percent rejected the idea that Jews have too much power in the media or that they are more obsessed with money than other Australians.

62 percent of respondents, or nearly two out of every three, said they supported banning the swastika to protect Jewish Australians from antisemitism, yet 30 percent said they knew either “little” or “virtually nothing” about the Holocaust. More than 80 percent rejected the statement that having a connection to Israel made Jews “less loyal to Australia,” saying it was “definitely” or “probably” not true.

A global survey undertaken by America’s ADL in 2014 found that Australia – which has a Jewish population of around 116,000 – was one of the least antisemitic countries in the world.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Image credit: Anti-Defamation Commission

A man wearing a cap emblazoned with a swastika was observed at Melbourne’s train station last Friday.

The man, spotted shortly after a football match, was photographed by a 23-year-old descendant of Holocaust survivors.

The Chariman of the Anti-Defamation Commission said: “From the special spot in hell reserved for such monsters, Hitler must be smiling, knowing that his followers are continuing his destructive legacy.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Image credit: Anti-Defamation Commission