(December 20, 2021 / JNS) Anti-Semitic incidents rose 35 percent in the last year with more than 440 recorded cases, including physical assaults and graffiti, according to a report by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.
“The ECAJ 2021 Antisemitism Report,” issued on Sunday, recorded 272 attacks—physical assaults, verbal harassment, vandalism and graffiti—and 175 threats in the year ending in September, up from 331 in the previous 12 months.
The rise in acts of Jew-hatred includes an uptick in abuse and harassment, which rose 14 percent from 128 to 147 incidents, and graffiti, which went from 42 instances to 106. The discovery of anti-Semitic posters and stickers increased a whopping 157 percent, from 28 to 72.
Eleven incidents of vandalism were recorded, and the number of physical assaults remained stationary at eight incidents, while threats via email, phone and mail declined.
The increase tracks with the findings of a smaller regional study conducted earlier in 2021.
In the survey of Jews in the state of Queensland, which includes Brisbane, Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef, six in 10 Jews reported experiencing anti-Semitism though the vast majority, 91.5 percent, said they had not reported the incident.
In a press release on the ECAJ report, Julie Nathan, the group’s research director and report author, said: “Behind the statistics lie some horrific personal stories of persistent anti-Semitic bullying of Jewish students at schools, the brutal physical assault of a man on his way to synagogue,” along with the flying of a Nazi flag above a synagogue in Brisbane and the spray-painting of a synagogue in Adelaide.
“What is perhaps worse is the disgraceful discourse online and occasionally in the mainstream media of those who, for whatever reason, seek to rationalize or minimize this egregious behavior,” she said.
Like elsewhere in the world, anti-Semitism against Australia’s Jewish community was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and Israel’s 11-day conflict with Hamas and other terror factions in the Gaza Strip, which launched more than 4,000 rockets at Israeli population centers in May.
“A total of 88 incidents was logged for the month of May alone, when the hostilities between Israel and Hamas occurred, compared to between 22 and 46 incidents for each of the other 11 months of the year,” said Nathan.
She also reported the threat from extremist groups including Hizb ut-Tahrir, which the Anti-Defamation League says “seeks to establish a worldwide Islamic theocracy,” and the neo-Nazi group, National Socialist Network.
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