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Global forum on antisemitism

Leibler at the Knesset

Leibler noted the 738 per cent increase in reported incidents in October and November 2023, compared to the year before.

Jeremy Leibler addresses the forum.
Jeremy Leibler addresses the forum.

Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) president Jeremy Leibler has participated in a global forum on antisemitism convened by Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli at the Knesset.

In his remarks, Leibler stressed that “while the battle against antisemitism around the world is necessary and critical, we know in Australia that the best deterrent against antisemitism and the primary way of ensuring that Diaspora Jewry feel safe is a strong State of Israel”.

Describing the impact the recent surge in antisemitism on the Australian Jewish community, he said, “Within days of Hamas’s brutal attacks on October 7, our sense of safety, acceptance and comfort within Australian mainstream society came crashing down.”

Citing Executive Council of Australian Jewry data on antisemitism, Leibler noted the 738 per cent increase in reported incidents in October and November 2023, compared to the year before.

Leibler provided just a handful of examples of events that were designed to intimidate Australia’s Jewish community, such as the infamous “gas the Jews” rally at the Sydney Opera House; the protest outside a shule in the heart of Jewish Melbourne that caused it to be evacuated; and the motorbike convoy designed to intimidate the Sydney Jewish community.

He concluded, “The situation in Australia is extremely challenging. However, we are grateful to have support from both major political parties and we have seen several business leaders speak out publicly to call out the rise in antisemitism in Australia.

“The sense of isolation that the Australian Jewish community feels is confronting and real. However, I can say with confidence that achdut – the unity we have seen in Israel and the Jewish world since October 7 has also brought us all together.”

Also speaking at the conference were World Zionist Organisation chairman Yaakov Hagoel, Jewish Agency for Israel secretary-general Josh Schwartz, Yad Vashem chairman Dani Dayan, Australian-Israeli human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky and representatives from Jewish Diaspora communities in Germany, France and the United States.

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