Federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has called on Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to urgently convene the National Cabinet “to discuss concerns raised by Australia’s Jewish community about their safety following the 7 October Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel”.
In a letter to Albanese on Tuesday, Dutton said Jewish Australians were expressing fears about their personal safety.
“Many are scared to display religious symbols or wear religious garments,” he said. “There have been reports of antisemitic attacks on Jewish homes, businesses and communities, culminating in last weekend’d deliberately provocative and intimidating pro-Palestinian protests through Caulfield in Melbourne, and Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
“You should, as a priority, convene a National Cabinet meeting dedicated to identifying and committing to practical measures to ensure the safety of Jewish Australians, promote social cohesion, and better prevent and respond to antisemitism.”
The Opposition Leader told reporters at a doorstop on Wednesday, “I fear that there will be a significant act within our country that will cause harm to people in the Jewish community, or in the community, at a time when temperatures are rising.
“The Prime Minister should be showing strong leadership to lower those temperatures, and he’s completely failed that test.”
He added, “We don’t believe that our national interest is served when you’ve got a Prime Minister who should be showing strength of leadership and he’s in fact showing a very weak leadership model because he’s got a divided Party Room, a divided Caucus, in relation to the Israel issue – and that is giving rise to all sorts of community concerns and angst at the moment within the Jewish community that is unacceptable.”