Catalog Home Page

Antisemitism in Australia

Israel, M.ORCID: 0000-0002-1263-8699 and Morris, S. (1997) Antisemitism in Australia. In: Antisemitism in the World Today. Institute for Jewish Policy Research and American Jewish Committee, pp. 76-83.

Abstract

Antisemitism in Australia is influenced by various imported antisemitic traditions, including conspiracy theories of Jewish power, Holocaust denial and stereotypes of Jews as unpatriotic, miserly, unethical and practitioners of depraved rituals.

According to the latest available statistics compiled by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ), there were 246 separate instances of antisemitic vilification, violence and harassment in 1997, and 211 in January-July 1998. The 1997 figure represents an 18 per cent decrease on the previous year, but the January-July 1998 figure of 211 is much higher than the average for that period in the preceding seven years. In general, rates of physical violence and property damage are below average while the rates of threats and intimidation are above average.

Although Australia remains an open and tolerant society, there is mounting evidence of a racist or xenophobic underbelly: a section of the population possibly growing but certainly made more visible by the rise of Pauline Hanson and her One Nation party. An increasingly vigorous debate on the nation's racial and cultural identity picked up greater momentum in June 1998 following the Queensland state elections in which One Nation received nearly 25 per cent of the vote and emerged as the country's third party.

Nonetheless, only a small number of individuals and organizations actively vilify Jews and other racial minorities, and they are widely condemned. Most Australians continue to regard antisemitism as unacceptable, and Jews face no form of institutional racism.

Despite copious evidence from the United States, Canada and Eastern Europe, the Australian government refuses to renew action against alleged Nazi war criminals known to be living in the country. This refusal has prompted claims that Australia has become an ideal haven for such persons.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Institute for Jewish Policy Research and American Jewish Committee
Copyright: © 1999 JPR
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/53598
Item Control Page Item Control Page