'Misleading' to lump together

The state of hate

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) said the numbers show a clear picture: the state of Victoria has an anti-Jewish problem, and something needs to be done. 

Pro Palestinian protests come to Caulfield. Photo: Peter Haskin / The AJN
Pro Palestinian protests come to Caulfield. Photo: Peter Haskin / The AJN

Victoria Police figures show antisemitic incidents since October 7 far outnumber Islamophobic ones.

85% of religiously motivated crimes were antisemitic, and 93% of the political ones were anti-Israel.

That’s out of a total of 197 incidents, according to figures from Operation Park, which was set up to monitor and investigate offences relating to the war in Gaza.

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) said the numbers show a clear picture: the state of Victoria has an anti-Jewish problem, and something needs to be done.

JCCV President Philip Zajac said “Members of the Jewish Community of Victoria deserve to live safely. These statistics show clearly that this is not the case. We are pleased that police investigations continue, arrests have been made and charges laid, albeit very slowly” he said.

These figures have prompted Brighton MP James Newbury to formally call for an official inquiry into antisemitism in Victoria.

He wants the Legislative Assembly Legal and Social Issues Standing Committee to look at the impact antisemitism is having on social cohesion and report back by the end of this year.

Zionism Victoria Executive Director, Zeddy Lawrence, said no one is suggesting that Islamophobia shouldn’t be condemned, but these figures show that the compulsion to lump antisemitism and Islamophobia together and draw some kind of equivalence is misleading and offensive.

“Cowardly virtue signalling simply to court support from one community that may be upset you’re showing sympathy for another community is not only disingenuous, it gives the general public a wholly false impression of who the real victims are” he said.

Lawrence is critical of politicians who he said fail to draw a clear distinction between the actions of a terrorist group like Hamas and the justifiable operations of the IDF.

“And it’s why ill-informed or misinformed students feel comfortable wearing keffiyehs, clamouring for the eradication of the Jewish State and sporting badges proclaiming their support for proscribed terror organisations” he said.

Dr Colin Rubenstein, executive director of the Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs Committee (AIJAC) said “Many of our leaders downplay the seriousness of the antisemitism sweeping the country since the October 7 massacres by reflexively pairing any mention of it with Islamophobia. It is high time they stopped doing this and treat the issue of antisemitism and criminal anti-Israel activity with the gravity it warrants”.

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