Saturday, 10 February 2007

Australia's Increase In Violent Anti-Semetic Attacks

Sadly, over the past 12 months Australia has had a real increase in anti-semitism. Manny Waks, executive officer of the B'nai B'rith Anti Defamation Commission, a national organization that aims to combat anti-semitism and racism has come forward and said the Australian Jewish community is feeling 'vulnerable and threatened' because of the upsurge.

"Schools, institutions and Synagogues have been targeted relentlessly over the past few months. People (in Australia) are used to seeing swastikas here and there, but when it becomes systematic and often, people are concerned. Over the last few months, the Jewish community has felt vulnerable and threatened," he said.

During the 12 month period leading up to September 30 2006, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry received more than 440 reports of , which included a sharp increase in the number of violent attacks against Aussie Jews. Not all cases reported have been included in the 440 incidents due to lack of

In October I posted a story about Melbourne man Menachem Vorchheimer, who was attacked and punched in the face, in front of his two young children by a group of neanderthal footballers from Ocean Grove as he walked to shul on Simchat Torah. The footballers also screamed, "F... off Jews" and "Go Nazis." Still... 3 months later no charges have been laid over the incident even though there were around 50 witnesses and an off-duty police officer was driving the bus the footballers were travelling in!

Just last week in Melbourne, two 16 year old ultra-orthodox boys, one who was on crutches with a broken leg in a plaster, were waiting for a tram in Chapel Street when a car pulled up and one of its passengers shouted, "You killed our cousins in Lebanon". The boy on crutches was attacked with one of his crutches and the other boy received facial injuries. Both boys were taken to the hospital where they received treatment for their injuries and were later release. What tough guys, they will be able to brag about that to their mates - 'Hey, did you hear how I beat up a Jewish kid on crutches?'... what a hero - talk about picking an easy target. Police are investigating the incident.

Even with the rise in anti-semitism in Australia, Manny Waks said that cases of anti-semitism in the United States and Europe "are much more severe" than that in Australia.

"The Jewish community in Australia has it good and there is no question about it," he said. "But we need to be proactive about these issues."

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.... Just another day ....

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