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Australia sees 30 per cent increase in anti-Semitic incidents

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A photo showing a Jewish boy allegedly being forced to kiss a classmate's feet is causing outrage in Australia. (Twitter screenshot)

There has been a 30 per cent increase over the last year in serious anti-Semitic incidents in Australia involving verbal abuse, harassment, and intimidation, according to the annual Report on anti-Semitism in Australia.

There were 368 recorded anti-Semitic incidents in Australia during the year ending on Sept. 30, 2019, according to the annual report, published by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ).

The incidents were logged by the ECAJ, Jewish community umbrella organizations in each Australian state, and other Jewish community groups, and included physical assaults, abuse and harassment, vandalism, graffiti, hate, and threats communicated directly by email, letters, telephone calls, posters, stickers and leaflets. The total figure is comprised of 225 attacks and 143 threats.

“The overall number of anti-Semitic incidents continued at, and slightly exceeded, the unusually high number logged during 2018, which saw a 59 per cent increase over the previous year,” said Julie Nathan, the ECAJ’s research director on anti-Semitism.

“Most disturbing were the reported incidents of anti-Semitic bullying of Jewish schoolchildren at two Victorian public schools, and the inadequate way in which the schools handled those incidents,” Nathan said.

In one incident, a 12-year-old student in Melbourne was forced by other schoolchildren to kiss the feet of a Muslim fellow student.

 

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