ANTISEMITIC incidents in Australia increased by almost half in the past two years but have tapered off significantly in the latest 12-month review period, according to the annual antisemitism report published by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ). However, there is concern that many anti-Jewish incidents are unreported.
During the 12 months to September 30 last year, 478 antisemitic incidents were logged by ECAJ and its associated organisations, representing a 41.9 per cent rise in the tally over the past two years. This comprised a 35 per cent jump in the year to September 2021 and a further 6.9 per cent during the year to September 2022.
The average number of reported antisemitic incidents in recent years was 298. As such, the total number of reported incidents in 2022 is above that average by 180 incidents.
During the year to September 2022, the number of antisemitic postering and stickering incidents in Australia increased by 70 per cent over the previous year (from 72 to 173). Graffiti incidents were up by 18 per cent (from 106 to 125), attributed to anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination protests and a rise in neo-Nazi activity.
There were decreases in three categories: physical assault (from eight to five), verbal abuse (147 to 138), and messages (103 to 76). Vandalism remained the same at 11.
ECAJ research director Julie Nathan, author of the ECAJ Antisemitism Report, said these incidents are “the tip of the iceberg”, as many go unreported.
“A study by Monash University in 2017 showed that almost one in 10 adult Jews (nine per cent) had said they witnessed or experienced verbal insults and harassment or worse over the previous 12 months. This would suggest that the actual number of antisemitic incidents in any one year could be up to 17 times the number reported.”
Nathan expressed increasing concern at the rise in neo-Nazi activity and the proliferation of neo-Nazi groups.
“Most of these groups are connected to each other and share propaganda material, especially posters and stickers,” she said.
Commending the report, which consists of data compiled from state CSGs and community members, ECAJ co-CEO Peter Wertheim told The AJN, “Few people in the community can begin to understand the hours of work and meticulous care that goes into researching and authoring the ECAJ’s annual report on antisemitism in Australia. This year’s report, all 282 pages of it, is as authoritative a study of antisemitism in one country as can be found anywhere in the world.”