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Fallout from anti-Semitism

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6 December 2023, The Australian, Editorial

Australia’s inclusion on an Israeli National Security Council list of countries Jewish people should avoid or be cautious about visiting is a sad consequence of the anti- Semitism that has reared its ugly head during the past two months. Alarming scenes at the Sydney Opera House of a pro- Palestine mob shouting grotesque slogans such as “Gas the Jews” revealed a latent, dangerous anti-Semitism. So did anti-Israel protesters invading the Crowne Plaza hotel in Melbourne where family members of some of those killed or taken hostage by Hamas on October 7 had gathered.

Other nations on Israel’s travel warning list include Britain, France and Germany.

But few have longer or closer relations with the Jewish state since it was founded in 1948 than Australia, which helped lead the way in enabling it to join the UN. Those ties, sadly, have been put at risk by the mindless Jew hate. Speaking on Monday, Alex Ryvchin, of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, lamented that the travel warning reflected “a damning new reality” in our relationship with Israel, which is unprecedented.

Beyond the immediate issue of Israelis travelling, it also reflects a distinct cooling in the government-to-government relationship, first seen when Anthony Albanese was well down the list of foreign leaders who sought time to commiserate with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following the October 7 massacre, the worst such slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust.

Some Australians, such as the Sydney Theatre Company actors who donned keffiyeh scarfs to manifest their support for the Palestinian cause, have shown a lack of understanding. So, on Monday night, did prominent former publisher Louise Adler, a Jewish woman, who is director of the Adelaide Writers Festival. On the ABC’s 7.30 she defended the STC actors’ right to express themselves on Palestine and the war, and criticised the STC for being too concerned about the reaction of donors.

Ms Adler and the actors were wrong.

After the horrifying pogrom of October 7, better understanding of the legitimate fears of Jews is needed. The problem is also reflected in the fact Jewish schools are offering safe haven, including potentially discounted fees, for Jewish students to leave the public school system because of the pro- Palestinian bias of public teacher unions and threats of anti-Semitism. After 75 years of close ties, Israel’s top security body classing Australia as no longer safe to visit because of anti-Semitism highlights a bad social situation. It needs to be addressed.

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Article source: The Australian | Editorial | 6.12.23

2024-05-08 07:04:10.000000