Not immune to antisemitism

UK journalist wants return to humanist values

“You have left wingers running around now who are very illiberal and anti free speech," says Brendan O’Neill.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

British journalist Brendan O’Neill says Australia is not immune to the kind of antisemitism that’s swept around the world since October 7.

The London based chief political writer for the Spiked news website has been on a tour of Australia recently.

He spoke at events organised by the Institute of Public Affairs, the Centre for Independent Studies; and the Australian Jewish Association alongside Sky News reporter Sharri Markson.

O’Neill said one of the things he loves about Australia is that it is sometimes immune to a lot of the woke politics in other parts of the West.

But he is worried by the speed with which antisemitism has spread around the world after October 7 and took hold in places as remote as Australia, despite what he calls our strong proletarian culture.

O’Neill believes that working class people around the western world are starting to reassert themselves in the face of what he characterises as a woke elite establishment.

“We saw it in the vote for Brexit, we saw it in the in the vote against the Voice to Parliament here, which was another kind of ballot box revolt against …  the whole establishment really” he said.

O’Neill says the sort of things he’s saying have been labelled “right wing” by some, but he says people shouldn’t get hung up on terms like Left and Right which don’t mean what they used to.

“You have left wingers running around now who are very illiberal and anti free speech. They seem to hate working class people, they look down their noses at them as bogans or chavs” he said.

O’Neill said he’s often heard about the existence of a silent majority who are very sceptical about the anti-Israel rhetoric in the media.

“I think that’s probably true, but you do wonder how much longer they can be silent for; and I do think it’s time more people stood up on the side of Israel against Hamas and on the side of the Jewish community against these new antisemites. We need more voices to do that rather than to sit home silently and just think, isn’t this all crazy?” he said.

O’Neil wants a return to the old value that no one should be judged according to their ethnic origin and everyone should be treated as an equal member of society.

“It’s really important to assert those kinds of old humanist values against this new rancid hatred that has taken grip of certain sections of society” he said.

read more: