Jewish groups concerned at dramatic rise in attacks

| November 30, 2009

JEWISH groups have reported an ''unprecedented'' rise in racial violence and vilification in the past year.

The annual meeting of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry in Sydney today will hear that there have been 962 reports of anti-Jewish violence, vandalism, harassment and intimidation against Australian Jewish organisations in the past 12 months.

''That is more than double the average,'' said Jeremy Jones, international and community affairs director for the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, who has been logging attacks for the past 20 years.

''The latest 12-month period saw the highest ever tally of reports of anti-Jewish violence, vandalism, harassment and intimidation, at a rate more than twice the annual average, mainly due to new peaks in abuse and harassment in public streets and via email,'' he said.

''More than in any other 12-month period, Jewish Australians walking to and from synagogue were abused by passing motorists, Jewish people were confronted with incitement against them in Australian cities, and abusive, offensive and intimidatory emails were received by Jewish Australians at their homes and workplaces,'' he said.

''On the positive side of the ledger, there was a marked decrease in reports of physical violence against Jewish individuals and property, with 27 incidents compared with 58 and 46 in the previous two years. Twenty-seven is the average in this category over 20 years''.

The Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia chairman Pino Migliorino said such an increase in attacks had not been reported by other ethnic groups.

''The Jewish community is particularly vigilant in monitoring these attacks but in terms of other communities, while there is always a level of racism, I haven't really perceived an increase elsewhere,'' he said.

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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security

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