ISSN 1440-9828
No 216

Antisemitism – the next step Terrorism?

 In February 2004 Australia ’s Parliament focused on the latest political buzz-word ‘Antisemitism’, a word for lazy thinkers who refuse to self-reflect on what reactions their own behaviour may generate. Such individuals would rather use this nonsense word to scapegoat and find fault everywhere else but within their own minds, and blame others for whatever life - as a maturation process - has to offer them.

Below we reproduce the statements made in Parliament on 16 February 2004 , but before that David Brockschmidt contextualises the issue in his usual perceptive and humorous way. Perhaps our Parliamentarians may learn something from this – perhaps. What is of interest here is that Mel Gibson’s film The Passion Of  The Christ has in one fell swoop killed off that proverbial fear of the Jews, thereby doing much to liberate the world from intellectual terrorism that has millions enslaved to the worship of excessive  materialism-consumerism in the form of debt finance. How this will help the Palestinians is a worry recently addressed by Dr Robert Faurisson when he suggested that Palestinians ought not equate Ariel Sharon with Adolf Hitler, but rather hold up signs that read: “The Holocaust is a hoax; the gas chambers are bogus”. Professor Faurisson feels that this will be the breakthrough the Palestinians need so as to regain their homeland.


David Brockschmidt challenges World Jewry's man in Australia : Jeremy Jones 

David Brockschmidt throws out challenge to World Jewry – Jeremy Jones cries out for police state protection


David Brockschmidt, whose father Heinrich Brockschmidt was Oskar Schindler's business partner. This fact was ignored by Stephen Spielberg in his film Schindler's List. Why? Also, the Brockschmidt family was honoured by both the Israeli and German governments for having saved Jews during the war.

This fact  does not stop David Brockschmidt from offering critical comments to Australia's spokesperson of organised Jewry.

Read on ...

Open Letter to Jeremy Jones - President, Executive Council of Australian Jewry


Where there is antisemitism, there is Semitism

Where there is Semitism, there is anti-Gentilism


Jewish Fundamentalism and Jewish Supremacism  


10 March 2004

Dear Jeremy

According to Theodor Herz’l, the founder of modern Zionism, the above quotations state something quite normal as he writes in his The Jewish State, the Bible of Zionism.

Jeremy, do you remember when Herz’l returned from Jerusalem, Palestine, negotiating there with the German Kaiser Wilhelm and the young Winston Churchill of Great Britain, how to rob the Palestinians of their land and of their resources in order to get a Jewish homeland in Palestine financed by Baron Rothschild and other Jewish bankers?

Herz’l stood before his Zionist followers, the first Zionist Congress in Basel , Switzerland , and told his audience, “ Palestine my friends, she is beautiful, but she is married.”

This should have made it clear to everyone present there that Palestine

was not a land without people, and the Jews of Europe were not a people without land.

Palestinians lived in Palestine in harmony for over three thousand years with other minorities including Sephardic - Semitic (oriental) Jews. You, Jeremy, like all the other Ashkenasim (European Jews) are not Semites, but Caucasians.

If you and your followers insist that you are Semites in an anthropological-racial sense, then you are only confirming what Adolf Hitler said in this regard about the Jews. Adolf Hitler was wrong in this regard.

In his book Herz’l also made it clear it would be best for European Jews to convert to Christianity and assimilate into Gentile societies in order to solve the so-called Jewish question. Just imagine, Jeremy, if this would have happened! You could have ruled the

Vatican today, being the Pope and not only one of the minority leaders of the Jewish community in Australia .

Pope Jeremy Paul I with a Jiddische-Kopp (Jewish brain, like yours, Jeremy, Christianity would be real fun. We would not only have fish on Fridays but gefillte fish and hanuman Taschen every day.

When I lived in your spiritual country, Israel, in 1967, the year of the so-called 6-day war, which has not ended until this day, risking my life for the survival of the Jewish State, good old late Shlomo Gorren, then Chief Rabbi of Zahal (Israel Defence Force) told me in regard to the Jewish Question: “Antisemitism, anti-Judaism, outside and inside of Eretz Israel (Greater Israel) is good for Israel and good for the Jewish people world-wide. It keeps our flock together, stops or slows down the Assimilation Holocaust, brings more money and Jews to Israel in order to guarantee the survival of the State of Israel and the Jewish People.”

He also told me if there would be no antisemitism in the world, the Jewish people would - and do - create it. His biggest worry was once Eretz Israel is established within its Biblical borders and the Muslim-Arab world would make peace with Eretz Israel , that then the Jewish people would turn on each other: Ashkenasim against Sefaradim, destroying each other and their Jewish state. I think good old Shlomo had some valid points here. 

When Professor Deborah Lipstadt lectured at the Mount Scopus College in Melbourne in 1994, she confirmed what Shlomo Gorren said by quoting a great Jewish prophet who said, “The destruction of the Jewish people will not come from outside but from within.”

She also told us that the six million Jewish victim figure of the Nazi-Jewish Holocaust cannot stand any longer according to the latest historical research. Note she said this in 1994.

I would now like to remind you, Jeremy, that now a decade later we have the Fritjof Meyer research regarding the death figures of the whole Auschwitz complex. Meyer called the four million death figure of Auschwitz “a communist lie and war propaganda”.

The then reduced official death figure of four million to one to one and a half million deaths, Meyer reduced again to 500,000 deaths. He also transferred the so-called industrial mass killings from Auschwitz I to Auschwitz II (Birkenau) into two little farm houses outside of the Birkenau concentration complex - which do not exist anymore, if they have ever existed at all.

The Nazi- Jewish Holocaust is shrinking fast and Jew and Gentile alike should be happy about that.

Do you remember, Jeremy, some years ago I said that a people who cannot face the dark side of their history will be history? I still stand by these words because this applies not only to your people but rather to all peoples and nations world-wide, including my own people, the Germans.

So when it comes to complaints from you and from some people within the Australian Jewish community regarding antisemitism in Australia , as published in the article ‘Plan to stem tide of anti-semitism’, Barney Swartz, The Age, 16.02.04, you should actually call it anti-Judaism, Jeremy. Why? As I said before, you and most of your flock are not semites.

In these cases I suggest you and your people turn the historical mirror and the divine spotlight onto your own history in order to bring light into the dark pages in the Book of Jewish History. This, of course, includes your religious books like the Torah, The Babylonian Talmud and The Kabalah. 

We must also not forget the anti-Gentilism of Jewish personalities like Leon Trotzky, Lazar Kaganovich, and follow that list of personalities all the way to Ariel Sharon today.

Anybody who believes that the attacks against the Jewish communities in Australia and world-wide has nothing to do with the Israeli-Palestinian war, like Joshua Landis believes, is either extremely naďve or a species living in denial. I do condemn any attacks on civilians, Jews and Gentiles alike anywhere in the world.

The fear factor is gone, Jeremy. Not only the Berlin Wall has come down but the Walls of fear have also collapsed. Israel ’s secret weapons – the Nazi-Jewish Holocaust and the antisemitic smear - do not work anymore, Jeremy. Historical Revisionism from A J P Taylor to Fritjof Meyer have blown away the taboos. Truth-telling is in again! Nobody, not even Sharon’s concrete wall, which is twice as high as the Berlin wall, can silence Truth, the mighty Internet, the weapon of mass instruction, does not respect any borders. It’s a new day Jeremy, and remember what good old Gorbachev said: “Who comes too late will be punished by life.”

The tragedy in today’s world is that we have no good leadership anymore. Just imagine Daniel Barenboim would lead the State of Israel, and a man like the late Edward Said would lead Palestine , I am certain there would be peace in the Middle East today.

Maybe it’s only a dream, Jeremy, a utopia, my Utopia, but I dream that one day you will sit next to the Director of the Adelaide Institute, Dr Fredrick Töben, BA, etc.,  in the Frederick Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv filled to the last seat with 50 per cent Palestinians and 50 per cent Israelis, listening to Richard Wagner’s wonderful music, played by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Barenboim, or Zubin Metha.

The Sharon-Arafat peace model – an eye-for-an-eye – will lead to the destruction of Israelis and Palestinians.

Finally, with regard to the controversy generated by the Zionists against Mel Gibson’s non-Antisemitic, non-anti-Jewish The Passion of the Christ, it is better for all Jews and Muslims to follow the teachings of this great Jewish Prophet, Jesus of Nazareth.

For all the Atheists I suggest they should follow the German philosophers Hegel and Kant.

What the world really needs is an independent enquiry of hate in religion as it is written, printed and taught, by the clergy of the world’s largest religions: Hindusim, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  It is just not good enough if religious leaders say that the various quotes from the Koran and the Hadits, the Gita, Torah and Talmud and the New Testament are merely quoted out of context. That excuse cannot be accepted anymore. Likewise with the excuse that the various offensive quotes are not to be taken literally!

It is the duty of all religious leaders, including you, Jeremy, to explain to their critics what these many offensive and aggressive quotes really mean, and to put them into context. 

Dialectic tricks, as Eli Wiesel used them are really not permitted here. His attempt to trick his Rabbi who caught him out lying, Wiesel told him, “sometimes lies are true, and sometimes truths are lies.” This means that Elie Wiesel was telling true lies. Eli should leave that to Hollywood where they have been doing that for the past one hundred years – very successfully.

So what does it really mean if we read in Talmud , Gittin 57a, Jesus is in hell and is  “boiled in hot excrement”, Christians are in hell and ‘boiled in hot semen”, and Gentiles are regarded beasts in human form?  I have another 210 quotes from Talmud, which I would like to discuss and clarify with you in public.

Let me close with a quote from one of my Israeli friends: “To be chosen is not a privilege but a curse.”  Only if you accept that your people, the Jewish people, including yourself, are equals, like all the other humans on this planet, only then the Jewish people will have a chance of survival.

David Brockschmidt



Plan to stem tide of anti-semitism

Barney Zwartz, Religion Editor

The Age, 16 February 2004


Anti-semitism is becoming more widespread in Australia , the Executive Council of Australian Jewry has claimed. Council president Jeremy Jones reported that anti-semitic incidents rose sharply last year, with 481 reports compared with an average of 279. Mr Jones released the figures in support of a motion condemning anti-semitism to be put before Federal Parliament today by Sydney Liberal MP Peter King.

The council’s executive officer, John Landis, told The Age that anti-semitism was becoming popular on both sides of politics.

“For some reason there seems to be a feeling that people can be more openly anti-semitic,” Mr Landis said. “It’s a bizarre phenomenon, and we can’t track why, but it’s unacceptable. The chief reason anti-semitism occurs is when people believe they have a green light, or even an amber light, to get away with it.”

He said factors included more incidents in Europe , attacks on world Jewry by the then-Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed and by the French ambassador to Britain , who called Israel “that shitty little country”. He did not think that the Israel-Palestine conflict was to blame, because that had intensified in the past.

Mr Jones said the best defence against anti-Jewish racism was strong, public, unequivocal condemnations from respected public figures, plus police action and successful prosecution. He said incidents included assaults, harassment of people going to and from synagogues, offensive graffiti and abusive emails.

“These disgraceful and singularly un-Australian actions took place against a backdrop of massive increase in reports of harassment and attacks on Jews in Western Europe , which adds to the reasons for concern by Jewish community leaders,” he said. Australia ’s national ethos of multiculturalism was its biggest advantage, he said.


Hypocrisy and anti-Semitism

By Yossi Sarid



True, it is not the done thing among cultured people to express an opinion on a creative work without actually seeing it. I have not seen Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ," and it is doubtful that I will. Nevertheless, after reading everything I could about the movie, I would like to say something about it.

My desire to write about the movie derives, among other things, from the silence, or alternatively, the sycophantic nature of the way liberal circles in the United States are relating to this inferior movie, as well as the Gibson crowd, among whom a number of the leaders in our country can suddenly be found.

Only someone who is being disingenuous can claim that the "Passion" was born in a vacuum, or that it will not boost anti-Semitism. I understand that even Pontius Pilate is portrayed in the movie as an enlightened ruler, surrounded by cruel, bloodthirsty, long-nosed Jews with rotting teeth – so say people who have seen the movie.

Undoubtedly, within the global reality of intense inter-religious tensions, with his movie Gibson has added fuel to the ancient bonfire that alternately dies down and flares up.

If I thought the movie also provided some new, original analysis of the crucifixion, I would concede: So be it, in the name of art, we will also have to suffer this theo-pornograpy with all its sadomasochist revelations. This is not my impression. All Gibson has done is take the story of the crucifixion from the New Testament as is, and produce it for the big screen while sticking loyally to the sources. What is so artistic or creative in taking Jesus down from the cross just to crucify him again in a ketchup-filled scene?

What is to be gained in the exact reenactment of the crucifixion when the viewers are invited to watch nails being hammered into the palms of a tortured man? If this isn't an attempt to stir up passions, to promote a dispute, and to again cast darkness on Jewish-Christian relations under the heavy shadow of the cross, then what do we have here?

The "Passion" is on its way to becoming Hollywood 's number one blockbuster. From the outset, it would never have made it to the big screen unless it had a sure chance of becoming a major hit. Gibson is familiar with the American soul, with the world's soul, and he also knows for sure that a movie like this, at this time, will ride on the high waves of Christian fundamentalism in his country and in others. Without supportive surroundings, Gibson, who is not exactly known as a modern-day Shakespeare, would not have dared make this movie.

Within these surroundings are to be found the best friends of Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Netanyahu, Beni Elon, Nathan Sharansky and Effi Eitam, who are fighting fiercely, as we all know, against anti-Semitism. Sharon, Netanyahu, Elon and their friends have long entered into a blood pact, of ketchup, with the more anti-Semitic Christian groups in America , who pretend to be sworn friends of Israel .

Their friendship is conditional; for the evangelists, the return of the Jews to their land, especially to the Greater Land of Israel , free of Muslims, is a precondition for a complete Christian redemption, which includes, among other things, wiping out the Jews as a people. These evangelicals see the redemption of Israel as a crucial foundation in the return of the messiah Jesus Christ. This is the only reason they encourage Israel and donate a lot of money to it, mainly to the messianic streams within the Jewish state, who view the settlements as the start of the redemption.

Minister Elon, who lately doesn't seem to miss a single evangelical gathering, occasionally tries to calm us: I have made our cooperation with them, he says, conditional on their not engaging in any missionary activity, and they have agreed. There's no doubting that the fundamentalist Christians were impressed by the firm approach of the Israeli minister.

Nevertheless, I permit myself the assumption that when it comes to choosing between Elon's conditions and the conditions needed for the return of the messiah, the good of Jesus wins out, with all due respect to the minister.

The Israeli government's battle against anti-Semitism is hypocritical, because it is selective. We are ready to join forces with anti-Semitic zealots, even with certain Holocaust deniers, if they are just willing to support the policies of the Sharon government. We will renew our ties with Austria , under suspicious circumstances, even if Joerg Haider and his party continue to play a central role in the Austrian government. A few days ago, Haider won a local election, and he is once again being seen as the great light of European fascism.

With friends like these, who vote en masse for Haider and flock en masse to see Gibson's movie, there's no need for enemies; because enemies such as these friends are hoping to inherit this land in a war of Armageddon, whose advent, if it is taking time, maybe needs to be sped up.       



'Protection squad' for Gibson's Jesus Security detail hired for James Caviezel as execs think movie's main stars targeted

Posted: March 8, 2004

5:00 p.m. Eastern

© 2004


James Caviezel, who plays Jesus in Mel Gibson's blockbuster "The Passion of the Christ," has reportedly been assigned a security detail to protect him.

Jim Caviezel portrays Jesus in 'The Passion of The Christ' (courtesy Icon Distribution) "There are some crazy people out there and everything is being done to protect Mel and Jim      from physical attack," a source close to executives of Newmarket Films told the London Express. The paper said Caviezel, a devout Catholic, was being guarded by a protection squad" amid fears of attacks by "religious fanatics."

According to the report, a mob of protesters has already screamed anti-Semite" and hurled a bucket of lamb's blood at Gibson in a New York street . Charges of anti-Semitism dogged the filmmaker for months prior to the movie's Feb. 25 opening.

The Express reports Caviezel, 35, and his wife, Kerri, are protected whenever they leave home. Studio executives reportedly are concerned the film's principal figures could be targets for assassination. Caviezel, who has 20 movies to his credit, told the London paper: "Sadly, any threats have to be taken seriously. It seems a terrible irony to me that this movie has spawned anger and violence. The idea that actors need minders because they portray a man whose mission was to spread the love of God is awful."

As of yesterday, "The Passion of the

Christ" had taken in $213,888,740 in US. ticket sales and likely is on its way to becoming the highest grossing R-rated film in history.

Editor's note: Coinciding with the release of Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of the Christ," WorldNetDaily has issued one of the most extraordinary editions of its monthly Whistleblower magazine ever produced, titled "THE DAY JESUS DIED.





Date 16 February, 2004

Database House Hansard

Speaker King, Peter, MP

(Wentworth, LP, Government) Interjector Causley, Ian (The DEPUTY SPEAKER)


Mr KING  (Wentworth) ( 1.03 p.m. ) -I move:

That this House:

(1) takes note of the:

(a) long history of anti-Semitism and its lethal capacity to influence many people to express hatred and carry out violence against Jewish people;

(b) alarming rise in the incidence of violent anti-Semitic acts in many countries which have killed Jews and non-Jews alike, the desecration of Jewish cemeteries and memorials and targeted assaults on individual members of the Jewish community; and

(c)disturbing upsurge of anti-Semitic propaganda in print, on the Internet and circulated through emails, often in the form of false accusations that Jews are involved in conspiracies against other people; and

(2) in recognition of these developments:

(a)expresses its unequivocal condemnation of anti-Semitism, of violence directed against Jews and Jewish religious and cultural institutions, and all forms of racial and ethnic hatred, persecution and discrimination on ethnic or religious grounds, whenever and wherever it occurs;

(b) resolves to condemn all manifestations of anti-Semitism in Australia as a threat to the freedoms that all citizens should enjoy equally in a democratic society and commits the Parliament to take all possible concrete actions at a national level to combat this threat to our peaceful and diverse nation; and

(c) further resolves to encourage Australian ambass-adors and other officials engaged in bilateral contacts with other countries to use their influence to oppose and counter anti-Semitic expressions and to promote all possible efforts at fostering tolerance and community harmony.

Over the last 12 months there has been a worrying increase in the level of anti-Semitic incidents-both overseas, particularly in Europe , and to a lesser extent in Australia . The motion before the House is referred to in a letter dated 16 February 2004 and signed by Dr Julie Ruth, the Executive Director of the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission. I am pleased to say that she is in the House today accompanied by Dr Paul Gardner, the commission's chairman. In that letter Dr Ruth comments:

The resolution ... is needed ... because the rising incidence provides an early warning signal to take action to prevent an alarming situation from developing in this country.

I note that the Board of Advisers of the ADC includes three former governors-general and two former prime ministers. Also commenting on this motion is Mr Jeremy Jones, the Executive Director of ECAJ in Australia , who states:

Over many years of trying to understand the phenomenon of, and confronting, antisemitism, it is apparent that the strongest defence against the development and growth of anti-Jewish racism are strong, public and unequivocal condemnations of the phenomenon from respected public figures, complemented by appropriate police action and successful legal prosecutions of hate mongers and racist thugs.

The member for Melbourne Ports and I were approached by constituents and supporters of this motion in November of this year and, in particular, by the representatives of B'nai B'rith and we were both very happy to co-sponsor this motion which, I am very pleased to say, is supported by both sides of the House. The terms of the resolution are important. The preamble refers to the long history of anti-Semitism as the first notation.

When I was President of the World Heritage Committee, immediately prior to my election to this parliament, and was based happily in those days in Paris , I took a delegation to the Auschwitz concentration camp, which is a world heritage site in Poland not far from Krakow . It was one of the more harrowing things that I have ever done or, indeed, seen. The report that we presented to the Polish government and UNESCO ultimately led to improvements in the way in which that particular site was conserved-because it is a lesson for all time to all the world, not just the people of Poland , whose villages once held large prosperous and thriving Jewish communities and now have none at all. It is quite extraordinary to visit places such as the village of Oswiecim and others in the vicinity of Auschwitz .

In Europe itself, in the week before this motion was lodged, there were a number of incidents which were particularly worrying. For example, the Jewish school near Paris was fire bombed and two Istanbul synagogues were devastated by suicide truck bombs that killed 25 and wounded 300. Turkey , which hopes to join the EU, suffered on several occasions through what appear to be al-Qaeda inspired terrorist threats, with truck bombs targeted at British installations. In the same month the EUMC, which is a racism watchdog that is part of the European Union, commissioned a report from the Centre for Research on Anti-Semitism at the Technical University of Berlin but shelved it because the report was thought to be politically incorrect in the criticisms it made of Muslim and pro-Palestinian perpetrators of anti-Semitic conduct.

So there were at that time, and there remain, very worrying trends. Indeed, in our country itself there have been a number of incidents which give rise to concern. Until 2002, the average number of incidents of all types reported to ECAJ was 279, but in 2003 the reports reached 481 incidents, including physical violence and property damage, threats, face-to-face harassment including assault, threatening and abusive telephone calls, threatening and abusive mail items, and anti-Semitic graffiti, leaflets, plasters, stickers and emails. This sort of conduct gives rise to particular concern, not just to ordinary people going about their business but to the broader society and those of us who are concerned that Australia remains a beacon of freedom and a place where decency and right conduct is what our country is all about.

As I have indicated, there were a number of incidents in Australia , and some of those occurred in my electorate. For example, on New Year's Day there was an assault on a group of Jews who were walking through a park in Vaucluse. One man had a glass bottle smashed over his head and another was bitten on the chest. These assaults were preceded by anti-Semitic abuse. On 9 January this year, graffiti was sprayed on a billboard outside the Temple Emanuel Synagogue in Woollahra, reading `F-ck Jews'. Just a few days later, on 22 January, the Australia Post head office was sprayed with graffiti reading: `Jews-The New Nazis'. The same sort of graffiti was found at Eastpoint Shopping Centre in Edgecliff just a few weeks before.

In relation to verbal abuse of ordinary citizens going about their daily lives, on 10 January this year, at Temple Emanuel in Woollahra, the occupants of a car driving past the synagogue screamed out `F-cking Jews' at the security personnel on duty. Likewise, on 2 December last year in Bondi Road, occupants of a car, who were described as being of Middle Eastern appearance, screamed anti-Semitic abuse at an identifiable Jew walking down the street. There have also been attacks on symbols. For example, a man wearing a prominent Magen David symbol around his neck was verbally abused in the city on 12 January this year, and a lady in Bellevue Hill had the mezuzah on her backdoor melted. Scorch marks were found on the doorframe, but there was no other sign of damage. Racist groups have appeared, giving rise to real concern. A group calling itself the National Alliance put stickers along several streets in Randwick in my electorate on 23 January-just a few days ago. Another group!
 calling itself White Pride
Australia posted similar anti-Semitic and antiIsraeli stickers just down the way in Camperdown.

These things cannot be ignored. They are matters of real concern. I have mentioned the first aspect of the preamble to our motion. Of course, going back to the Second World War and what happened there, it could not possibly be said that there is any such repeat of those heinous acts-but there has been an upsurge in violent anti-Semitic acts in many countries, including our own. It is in that cautionary context that this motion has been introduced.

There has also been an upsurge in anti-Semitic propaganda. It is of some interest to look at the history of the word `anti-Semitism'. It was coined by a German man named Mr Wilhelm Marr in the 1880s. He was himself an anti-Semitic propagandist. His idea was to castigate people not because of their religious beliefs as Jews but rather because of their racial backgrounds as coming from that part of the Middle East , using what is called the Semitic text. Of course, it led to the heinous act in the Second World War, which was one of the great acts of bastardry in human history. But even in this House during the Iraq war our members received emails that referred to the motivation of some of those of us who supported, as we did, the resolution of the Prime Minister in this House to join the conflict in Iraq . Those emails, which based our support on completely misconceived motives, were identified as being effectively anti-Semitic.

A very interesting article was recently published by a Canadian academic named Irwin Cotler, who has recently been appointed a minister in the Canadian government. He speaks of the new anti-Jewishness, which almost requires a new vocabulary. These issues are of great importance. But let me finish by saying: let us refresh the wellsprings of decency in our community, take note and move forward together, accepting difference but embracing a strong social fabric. I commend this motion to the House. (Time expired)

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. I.R. Causley)-Is the motion seconded?


Speaker Danby, Michael, MP (
Melbourne Ports , ALP, Opposition)

Mr DANBY (Melbourne Ports) ( 1.14 p.m. ) -I formally second the motion. I commend the member for Wentworth and the organisation B'nai B'rith, which suggested this motion to us, on bringing this motion before the House. I have obviously a deep personal interest in this motion as the only Jewish member of the current parliament. As I said in my first speech to this House, my grandparents were victims of European anti-Semitism, and my father came to this country as a refugee in 1939.

Australia is regarded by many people in this country who are of Jewish origin as a `goldeneh medinah'-a golden country-that is, the 120,000 Jewish Australians or 0.6 per cent of our population regard it as that. Thousands of my constituents survived the Shoah to settle in post-war Australia and lead successful, constructive lives. Australia continues to provide a haven for people such as the former residents of the former Soviet Union who are also found in large numbers in my electorate. I believe Australia has gained immensely through its generosity to Jewish Australians. Names such as Sir Isaac Isaacs, Sir John Monash and Sir Zelman Cowen come to mind. In this parliament I recall recent distinguished Jewish members such as former Senator Sam Cohen, Dr Moss Cass, the Hon. Joe Berinson, former Senator Peter Baume and my good friend the former minister for the arts and the environment, Barry Cohen.

But even in Australia it is sad to have to note that incidents of anti-Semitic speech and action continue and have increased in recent years. To its great credit, on 7 September the premier current affairs program in this country, the Sunday program-with John Lyons as the reporter and Peter Hiscock as the executive producer-did a very important reprise of the physical threats and violence which Jewish Australians face because of the changed world situation. For anyone who is seriously interested in this issue, that Sunday program is essential viewing. The Internet is a favourite medium for these new anti-Semites to spread their bizarre conspiracy theories. As the member for Wentworth said, many members of this House can recall getting some of these crazed emails, particularly during the Iraq war. Only this morning some crank faxed one of these prejudiced screeds to all federal MPs.

Anti-Semitism in various forms has been a feature of European societies for 2,000 years and has spread even to societies where there are no Jews at all, such as Malaysia and Indonesia . We all know the situation in Malaysia , with the very recent bigoted statements by its former Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir. Led by Pope John Paul II and the Catholic Church, mainstream Christianity today condemns anti-Semitism, and that legacy of Jewish-Catholic reconciliation will be a great legacy of His Holiness the Pope. In the late 19th century a new form of secular anti-Semitism, based on pseudo-Darwinian theories of racial superiority came into vogue. It was this evil ideology above all other factors that motivated Hitler and his seizure of most of Europe . This cursed and demonic hate nearly led to what Winston Churchill called `the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister by the lights of perverted science'. In that abyss, six million Jews were murdered-in a war that civilisation only! survived after the death of a total of 50 million people.

For a time it seemed that anti-Semitism would not raise its head again because of the Holocaust. However, today it has found new bases and new slogans, particularly in one of the persistent phenomena of our time, anti-Americanism. No-one resiles from our right to vociferously disagree with the citizens or government of the United States , a fellow democracy. It is, however, worrying to see mainstream ABC TV programs talk about US policy makers in terms of their Jewish origins. It is far more worrying to see the infiltration of prejudice into it than screeds from cranks that arrive via email. The new anti-Semitism has also affected some people in the intellectual classes.

I do not equate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism; it is reasonable to make criticisms of any country's government, including Israeli policies and actions-indeed, many Jews are among Israel 's critics. However, some of what passes for anti-Zionism these days is a form of anti-Semitism. This is the kind of rhetoric that accuses Israel of genocide, such as the mythical massacre at the Jenin refugee camp in 2002. Claims that Zionists control the world's media or banks, or that the United States has a Zionist-occupied government are part of this kind of modern anti-Semitism. They do not wear black armbands or jackboots. Some of them hide in universities and the media; others order the bombing of synagogues, like Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's No. 2 who articulates its anti-Jewish ideology. And this unreasoning hatred, whether it is Hitler or Osama bin Laden, is a lethal threat not just to Jews but to people all over the world. (Time expired)


Speaker Georgiou, Petro, MP (Kooyong, LP, Government)

Mr GEORGIOU  (Kooyong) ( 1.19 p.m. ) -It is one of the great sadnesses of history that half a century after the Holocaust we should be debating a motion condemning anti-Semitism. If there is one thing that any reasonable person should have expected history and experience to have cauterised, it is anti-Semitism-the scapegoating and demonisation of Jewish people, the blood libels and the displacement of the dislocations of modernisation onto the Jews. Anti-Semitism ultimately led to the murder of six million Jews in an advanced Western society. That crime against humanity should have totally inoculated the world against anti-Semitism in all its forms, but the unfortunate reality is that the lessons of history do not keep on communicating themselves; they have to be taught, reflected on and reinforced.

We have to realise that at the beginning of the third millennium there is a resurgence of anti-Semitism. I do not mean by this that there has been some golden age since the Second World War in which anti-Semitism vanished-witness the persecution of the Jews in the former Soviet Union, amongst many other persecutions-but the fact is that in recent years we have seen the intensification of anti-Semitism and violence against the Jewish people; the vandalisation of Jewish cemeteries; the bombing of synagogues; attacks on members of the Jewish community; the proliferation of anti-Jewish libels, such as the accelerated circulation of the protocols of the elders of Zion; and the persistence of Holocaust deniers.

To the traditional and destructive European forms of anti-Semitism has been added the virulent anti-Semitism of Islamic extremists. Some historians believe that Islam has been less prone to persecute the Jews than Christian polities. I am not a sufficient historian to make a considered judgment about that, but what is certain is that in the here and now Islamic extremism is making a fundamental contribution to the resurgence of anti-Semitism. I have time for just one example, that of the editor of the newspaper Al Risali, who supports Hamas and who said:

Hamas, the whole of the Palestinians, clearly distinguish between Israelis and Jews ... We don't fight against the Jews. We fight against the occupation.

He then rapidly proceeds to assert that Adolf Hitler `came to punish the Jews because of their faults and their practices'. Beyond this the response to the creation of a Jewish democratic state has given a new dimension to anti-Semitism.

I am not one who believes that criticisms of the actions of the Israeli government or its policies amount to anti-Semitism. To accept this would be to surrender independence of judgment and to fly in the face of the reality of Israeli democracy-its vibrancy, its internal combativeness and its capacity for self-criticism. Not least, it would do a disservice to Israel , which relies on its friends being able to speak frankly. Nonetheless, it has to be said that some of the criticisms of Israel are of a character that amounts to anti-Semitism, because they demonise the Israeli state. As one writer puts it, some of the attacks on Israel attribute to Israel `all of the evils of the world-the portrayal of Israel as the enemy of all that is good and the repository of all that is evil'. I believe that descriptions of Israel as the apartheid state, the equation of Zionism with racism and the depiction of an infant Jesus being threatened by an Israeli tank, with Jesus saying, `Surely they don't want to kill me again,' all cross the line. To say this is not to deny the aspirations and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to their own state. It is a right which is widely recognised.
As I said in opening, it is sad that we have to revisit the condemnation of anti-Semitism. Such a condemnation should have become deeply ingrained as a result of the history of the persecution of the Jews and the murder of millions in the Holocaust. It is sad to revisit this, but it is necessary. The parliament does have to unequivocally condemn anti-Semitism, violence against Jews and all forms of racial and religious persecution. I commend the motion to the House.


Speaker Ferguson , Laurie, MP (Reid, ALP, Opposition)

Mr LAURIE FERGUSON  (Reid) ( 1.23 p.m. ) -As a critic of Israeli policies on many fronts, I very much associate myself with this motion. It does a number of things. It raises the question of anti-Semitism in this country and it calls for activity by our diplomats overseas to make sure that internationally we counter this. These are matters that we should very much associate ourselves with. I was impressed by the figures of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry that showed that over the 12 months to September 2003 there were 500 anti-Semitic incidents, and that has been the same for two years. It is interesting to note that over the 10-year period since 1990, there were fewer than 300 incidents. This growth is of concern. As is noted in the motion, it seems to be an international phenomenon.

From 17 March 2001 to 17 April 2002 in France there were 395 of these incidents. There were earlier references to the bombing of synagogues in Istanbul . It is ironic that the Ottoman Empire , which historically saved fleeing Jews from an inquisition and the forced conversions there, is itself experiencing this. Internationally, there have been matters of concern in Germany . The commander of the special forces had to be taken to task when he associated himself with a German politician, Martin Hohmann, and said that anyone that says that the Germans are a race of perpetrators ignores the Jewish role in the Russian Revolution and the resulting persecutions and tyranny.

Egyptian television had a 40-episode analysis of the ridiculous fictions of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It is very worrying that on a national television system in the Middle East this kind of twaddle is put forward to the general public as indicative of truth. One must be concerned also at the Syrian defence minister. In January 2002 he stated that Mossad had planned the ramming of airliners into the World Trade Centre. These are worrying indicators of the degree to which people, for their own political futures, utilise anti-Semitism. I note that even at Liverpool in Western Sydney we had assaults upon an exhibition which praised the role of those righteous gentiles who helped to protect the Jews during the Holocaust. Those assaults were answered on 5 August 2003 by the Chairman of the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia, Abd Malak, who said:

These extremists often target the most vulnerable in our society, in particular small faith communities and Aboriginal Australians. They attempt to appeal to the most degraded of human instincts.

He asks that we be vigilant. It is indeed important that in this country, where we tend to emphasise our tolerance, our harmony and our multiculturalism, we are equally firm in regard to the upsurge that we have witnessed-for example, in regard to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and any question of undermining its powers or reducing its authority. There is also a need for anti-racism legislation in this country. That is a matter that this parliament has in purview. All of these things must be undertaken.

The situation is, of course, a weird amalgam of various forces which utilise anti-Semitism, from the crackpot fascistic theories of the mid 20th century-the distorted view of Christianity that saw the Jews as having killed Jesus and therefore being hostile to Christianity-to Holocaust denial, people finding all the reasons in the world for the six million Jews who died not actually representing the fulfilment of Hitler's theories, and the analogy of Judaism and Israel with Nazism. All of these are various strands of this effort. It is particularly worth while that in this country Jeremy Jones and the Executive Council of Australian Jewry trace these upsurges. They tell us something about the need for an authoritative answer from our parliamentary leadership and our government leadership. In meetings with him he has made the point to me that when these things are unanswered, when there is no response from our parliamentary leadership, it is a perceived green light to people. They perceive that it will not be answered. I commend the movers of this motion. 

Speaker Smith, Anthony, MP (Casey, LP, Government)

Mr ANTHONY SMITH (Casey) ( 1.28 p.m. ) -This motion, which is put forward in a bipartisan spirit, is an important one. It has the strong support not just of all of us speaking today but of many members of this House and, I am sure, the Senate. The Member for Sturt, while unable to speak in this debate due to his status as a parliamentary secretary, nonetheless is here for the debate to show his support. The speakers before me have well articulated the issues at hand. This motion not only illustrates and signifies our combined resolve that anti-Semitism is repugnant and unacceptable but also highlights the danger it poses to all of our values and freedoms.

Anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish people and Jewish property are also attacks on our very democratic principles. Allowing anti-Semitic activity to go unchecked and trying to rationalise it away is not just to allow injustice and racism to take root but also to knowingly allow a cancer to eat at the foundations of our democracy and our tolerant and free society. That is a critical point in this debate. The Jewish people are a minority who have been subject to attacks, violence and oppression for most of their history. The Holocaust, as the member for Kooyong pointed out, was the most horrific culmination of that, but the pages of history are littered with earlier examples in France and, many hundreds of years ago, in Spain .

This motion is a positive thing, but I have to say that its real value and strength will be if it also demonstrates an ongoing dedication by this House and this parliament to continually highlight these issues. It is a task that never ends. Previous speakers have highlighted some of the evidence of an increase in anti-Semitic activity around the globe. The nature and frequency of those attacks has also been well documented by other houses of parliament in other democracies, by international bodies and, in graphic detail, I have to say, by the international media, particularly in London . Whilst there is evidence of an increase in anti-Semitic activity in many parts of the world, there is no doubt, as previous speakers have illustrated, that Europe , where the wave is largest and the need is greatest, is the epicentre. Both Democrats and Republicans in the United States have taken up the need for action in Europe in a similar bipartisan way. Democrats like Congressman Robert Wexler have been prominent in highlighting the need for European leaders to take a stronger stand and stop seeking to substitute motives on the part of those who perpetrate the acts. In a similar tone, in June last year Rudolf Giuliani put it well in article entitled `How Europe can stop the hate'. He said:

Hate flourishes when excuses for the conduct are accepted, or justified by vague connections to international politics. If a synagogue is torched, the response must not be, "The act is wrong, but we can understand the reasons the arsonist feels he must resort to such extreme measures." The perpetrators must not be allowed to advance their so-called cause through violence.

We have seen here in our country some attacks on synagogues and on Jewish people and property during the recent Iraq conflict. We can never allow that behaviour to be rationalised away under the cover of tension or difficulty in the Middle East , or war in Iraq , because to do so is to give a green light and a licence to those who wish to practise anti-Semitism.

In the time remaining to me in this debate, I would like to briefly address the aims of the motion and the reality. We all rightly wish for the day when anti-Semitism exists only in history books, but I think we all know in our heads that, unfortunately, this is not likely. There will always be people with despicable views and others prepared to follow them. Our task must be to continually spread the lessons of history and advocate the cause of tolerance.

Teaching history in schools is extremely important, and I would like to think that more can be done on this front. Teaching the history of the Holocaust to all students, rather than just to those who choose to undertake European or modern history, would be a valuable step, particularly since we are now at the point where younger generations do not have the same benefit of receiving first-hand the knowledge and experience of parents and grandparents to familiarise themselves with the horror and persecution that occurred in the Second World War. A student cannot leave an Australian school without learning Australian history, which is exactly as it should be. But, in my view, modern world history and the lessons it can teach us are equally important, and I would like to see the day when no Australian student could leave school without having studied the Holocaust and the consequences of anti-Semitism. Wouldn't that go a long way towards insulating future generations against the! sickening conspiracy theories, falsehoods and racism that feed anti-Semitism? (Time expired)

Speaker Smith, Stephen, MP (
Perth , ALP, Opposition)

Mr STEPHEN SMITH  (Perth) (1.33 p.m.) -I support the motion, which expresses its unequivocal condemnation of anti-Semitism, violence directed against Jews and Jewish religious and cultural institutions, and all forms of racial and ethnic hatred, persecution and discrimination on ethnic or religious grounds whenever and wherever it occurs, and which resolves to condemn all manifestations of anti-Semitism in Australia as a threat to the freedoms that all citizens should enjoy equally in a democratic society. As the Israeli Minister for Diaspora Affairs, Natan Sharansky, recently said:

No hatred has as rich and as lethal a history as anti-Semitism-"the longest hatred", as the historian Robert Wistrich has dubbed it. Over the millennia, anti-Semitism has infected a multitude of peoples, religions and civilisations, in the process of inflicting a host of terrors on its Jewish victims.

Xenophobia, the exclusion of groups that do not fit within our own tribal context, has been with human society throughout our history. While it may well have contributed to our survival a million years ago, it has but added to our collective shame since recorded history began. The first significant recorded example of anti-Semitism seems to have occurred in Alexandria in Egypt in the year 38 BCE, when, following riots in which many Jews were killed, the local Jewish population were confined to a designated quarter of the city-a trend we see repeated in the 2000 years that follow. As well, it was less than a hundred years later that around 50,000 Jews were massacred in the very same city of Alexandria-in proportion to the then population, an even more horrific number than we would imagine today.

Our modern history, of course, records the recent horror of the Holocaust. I was personally very moved by my own experience as one who has had the opportunity to visit Israel and Yad Vashem, the unique memorial where a flame burns in a darkened hall as an eternal memorial to those who lost their lives in the Holocaust. Only such a simple memorial would be powerful enough to pay sufficient tribute to those who lost their lives in such a monstrous crime.

Fortunately, in Australia , historically we have been, and are, remarkably free of mainstream anti-Semitism, with which our global history is regrettably all too replete. However, it has existed, and does exist, here, and there has recently been the concern of an inexplicable increase in anti-Semitic incidents. Australian society must remain aware and vigilant of the need to identify it for what it is and, when it does occur, of the need for our law to deal with it firmly and effectively. In my own electorate of Perth , the first recorded anti-Semitic acts were condemned by Rabbi Freedman in 1933. On 10 October 1943 a community meeting was held in the North Perth Town Hall to unite and organise against vicious anti-Semitic literature.

While anti-Semitism is by definition an attack on those of the Jewish faith, it represents an attack on the fundamental elements of our society, on the very tenets and building blocks of a civilised society. If we allow those who practise anti-Semitism to go unpunished, and their hate crimes to evade the rule of law, we are all diminished by that failure, no matter what our faith or beliefs. Anti-Semitism is not about an attack on those of a certain religious belief; it is about the freedom to attack those who are not a member of the same group or tribe as you. Anti-Semitism is an ugly, grotesque action. What underlies the intent of those involved is prejudice and rejection of others, based on reasons of race or religious belief-the usual reasons which have led to the exploitation of others and which have led one person to devalue the life of another human being and treat another's life as being of lesser value than their own. This is the fundamental reason why as a parliament and as a society we must always come to the defence of those who are the victims of anti-Semitic attacks. It is just and it is right that we should do so, because it underpins the very core values of our modern Australian society.

Speaker Forrest, John, MP (Mallee, NATS, Government)

Mr FORREST  (Mallee) ( 1.37 p.m. ) -I am delighted to join with my colleagues on this important motion today. I am opposed to racial and religious vilification of any form and I am proud as an Australian that in this country we recognise that people have differences and we embrace each other and talk about it. That is the Australian way. It is with some concern that I see the evidence from around the world that this particular form of racial and religious vilification is on the increase. We are well aware of what is happening in Europe ; we know about the instability in the Middle East ; but it is happening here on our own shores. So I think it is absolutely important-and this is why I wanted to speak to this motion-that the parliament of this great nation shows the lead by condemning this particular form of racial and religious vilification, expressed as anti-Semitism.

An incident that moved me on 8 December last year was when a 13-year-old student on his way to Yeshiva College was pushed off his bike by a motorcyclist and then subjected to anti-Semitic curses and abuse. It is just not on, and I am pleased that the member for Perth has raised the subject of his visits to Israel . I had the delight in August last year to visit Israel on a study tour involving a separate subject and see the museum at Yad Vashem. If members have not been there, it is a spiritual experience to walk through a chamber where there are millions of lights and the voices of the young people and children and hear the names mentioned from those terrible Nazi war camps.

Another privilege I had some years ago was to be part of a delegation to Poland and visit the camps there and understand the height of the anti-Semitic feeling that led a supposedly civilised society to support that kind of activity. I do not want it happening here in this country that I love, where we pride ourselves on our egalitarianism and our capacity to express whatever faith we have and pray however we like. I have the privilege of being able to pray in the way that I like, which is to probably the greatest Jew of all, as a Christian. I delight that I can share a worshipping experience and share the nature of my faith with my Jewish friends.

I stand with my colleagues here-I stand with the whole parliament-and urge Australian society to give its support to this motion and condemn this kind of activity because it is un-Australian. If we let it happen, as other speakers have said, we undermine the very things that our forefathers have fought for in defending this great country. I am delighted to speak with other colleagues on this motion. I would like to leave some time for the member for Lowe to make his comments because I know what happens with these motions: the minutes get consumed. I finish my remarks by supporting the recognition by this House in expressing its unequivocal condemnation of anti-Semitism, of violence directed against Jews and Jewish religious and cultural institutions, and all forms of racial and ethnic hatred, persecution and discrimination on ethnic or religious grounds. I do not know what I would do if I were subjected to it. I have the freedom to express the faith that I enjoy, and I want everybody to have that same right.

Speaker Murphy, John, MP (Lowe, ALP, Opposition)
 Interjector SPEAKER, The

Mr MURPHY (Lowe) ( 1.41 p.m. ) -I thank the member for Mallee. I commend the member for Wentworth's motion before the House and the contribution by the member for Melbourne Ports and the other speakers. In supporting this motion it is timely to reflect on one of the core foundations of democracy: the principle of universalism. Australia 's jurisprudence is founded upon inalienable democratic principles, including universalism, the rule of law, natural justice and procedural fairness, to name just a few. Take away any of these basic tenets of jurisprudence or compromise them in any way and democracy itself is compromised.

Universalism means that every human being holds inalienable rights. The opposite of universalism is relativism. Governments founded on relative ideology use moral, religious or other dogma to assert that certain human beings lose or forfeit their humanity simply because of who they are. Disturbingly, relativist ideologies can be used to discriminate against human beings on religious or racial grounds or their relative value to society. Anti-Semitic ideologies, like any cultural or moral relativist ideologies, offend the senses. This is so not because a person holds a subjective view of whether Jews should or should not be seen in a certain way but because there is an intrinsic wrongness in a government or person discriminating between a person's intrinsic dignity as a person and the ideology or view that detracts from that dignity.

There are examples throughout history of both cultural and moral relativist ideologies that are anti-Semitic. These regimes have never survived and eventually come crashing down. Any ideology that proclaims relativist views cannot stand the test of time, for such ideologies are founded on presumptions that offend the natural law-the law of reason. Notorious examples of anti-Semitism have included communist, fascist and other totalitarian regimes. Today a new wave of religious anti-Semitism attempts to justify itself on similar relativist ideologies. Moral relativist laws discriminate against asylum seekers or unborn children, including the human embryo. Indeed, the application of relativist ideology is a social cost of flawed law making.

Terrorism may be described as culturally relativist ideologies `otherising' and dehumanising innocent people in the name of freedom and retributive justice. These terrorists would seek to kill innocent people with moral justification, and such thinking is the logical consequence of moral and cultural relativism. We would all do well to heed the warnings of anti-Semitism and learn to correct relativist anomalies in areas such as antiterrorist laws, border protection, immigration, the rights of the unborn child and family and gender equality laws, and enshrine universalism as the touchstone in all law making. I believe you cannot fight fire with fire, and a lasting peace for the world will only be achieved when all the world's children are taught to truly understand the meaning of jurisprudence.

The SPEAKER -Order! It being almost 1.45 p.m. , the debate is interrupted in accordance with standing order 101. The resumption of the debate will be made an order of the day for the next sitting and the member for Lowe will have leave to continue speaking when the debate is resumed.



24/02/2004 Legislative Assembly


Mr BOB CARR (Maroubra—Premier, Minister for the Arts, and Minister for Citizenship) [ 3.26 p.m. ]: I move:

That this House supports the motion moved in the House of Representatives on 16 February 2004 condemning all manifestations of anti-Semitism and supporting tolerance and community harmony.

Last week the House of Representatives had to debate a motion because there is the persistence in our world of one of the oldest diseases known to humankind. It is a mental disease: it is the disease of anti-Semitism. It predates even Christian civilisation and it has had appalling consequences in the last century. Several years ago I visited Sachsenhausen concentration camp outside Berlin and placed a wreath on a memorial to those who died there. There are many horrifying things about such a visit but one of the most horrifying was learning that there was a hierarchy of punishments. Those chosen to suffer most in every way were the Jews. They suffered more than political prisoners, the Gypsies or Russian prisoners of war. They suffered more than people in any other category. The level of cruelty focused and refined was directed at Jews.

Jews are a minority with a strong monotheistic religion. They have been available for scapegoating since their own civilisation was dispersed and partially destroyed in the 130s. They have made a disproportionate contribution during their long years of exile to the civilisation and culture of the world. When visiting Yad Vashem, the memorial in Jerusalem to the Holocaust, in 1983 I thought there is one lesson out of what happened for all of us, and that is that we should never engage in racial stereotypes, tell racial jokes, try to sum up people's race or religion in a way that demeans them or that in any way stereotypes them. In the museum we can see that the precursors, the etymology, of Hitler's anti-Semitism were the stereotyping and the sarcasm directed at the Jewish minority in Germany , not only in the early 1930s but in the 1920s and going back. This is a persistent disease in European civilisation. It leads to Babi Yar , to Auschwitz and to Treblinka.

It is sad to reflect that in 1945, with the staff of the great postwar immigration, people in government in Australia had to carefully measure out the generosity extended to survivors of the Holocaust. There was a residual anti-Semitism in Australia in the late 1940s barely outweighed by the generosity of spirit that was then beginning to take hold of the Australian people. It is recorded in the history of these times that Arthur Calwell had to tread warily because there was still anti-Semitism in our nation, horrible as it is to contemplate that persisted after the first revelations of the death camps, the extermination camps. Today anti-Semitism is a reality in the world. There is sophisticated polling that measures the extent of it in Europe and elsewhere. It is sad to reflect that anti-Semitism tends to decline only when other minorities present themselves as targets for scapegoating and prejudice. If there is a recently arrived immigrant minority anti-Semitism declines as racial prejudice finds a new focus.

Anti-Semitism has persisted even in the wake of the full revelation of the Holocaust in the decades since 1945. We have witnessed the desecration of Jewish cemeteries, the bombing of synagogues, the blowing to pieces of innocent people, the reviving of old blood feuds and that worst manifestation of this insanity, the denial of the enormity of the Holocaust. When anti-Semitism rears its head we should stand side by side with the Jewish people and remember the many photographs etched in our collective memory, including those of little children being led, not by Nazis but by French police, through the streets of Paris on their way to the railway station for shipment to the concentration camps. Those children were too young to use the toilet without assistance. We should also remember the photographs of the death camps, the work of the Einsatz group and the mowing down of people in Eastern Europe . We should remember all these things and say with one voice that this is a disease and it should never be revived.

Mr JOHN BROGDEN (Pittwater—Leader of the Opposition) [ 3.31 p.m. ]: On Saturday, tens of thousands of Jews across New South Wales and Australia will attend synagogue. However, unlike other people involved in religious observance, they will pass security guards as they walk through the door. Thousands of children attending Jewish schools in this country will also pass security guards as they walk in and out of their school gates. Very few, if any, other religious groups or followers of a faith have security guards at their place of worship. It is important to focus on the fact that, although humans have a long, tragic and at times embarrassing record in respect of the way in which we have treated one another, for the Australian Jewry that is an ongoing dilemma. It is with a great deal of support that I speak on behalf of the Liberal-Nationals coalition today.

This Chamber represents freedom and democracy and the capacity for all to express their views freely. That is not a luxury or even a basic right afforded many Jews. Of course, the Jews in Australia have a proud and exceptional record of contribution in all forms and on an ongoing basis. The former Governor of New South Wales, Gordon Samuels, was a Jew. We have also had Jewish Governors-General, including Sir John Monash and Sir Zelman Cowan. The New South Wales Chief Justice, Jim Spigelman, is also Jewish. No Jew can live in any country without remembering, for many on a daily basis, the great horrors of the past. Of course, the phenomenal butchery and the massacre of about six million Jews committed under the banner of Nazism was based on the massacre of another great national minority, the Armenians. It is worthwhile noting that Hitler asked who ever remembered the Armenians before massacring the Jews in the 1930s and 1940s. It is an evil to so hate another race or to so misunderstand another religion that it becomes orthodox within the community and government to persecute and eventually to resort to slaughter.

In the celebration of Judaism we too often think of the grave suffering but forget the great survivors. There are great Jewish survivors, many of whom made Australia their home in the decade after the Second World War. Coincidentally, last week I addressed the New South Wales Board of Deputies. I was asked a long and, I say kindly, rambling question, but before getting to the question the gentlemen concerned said that he was asking it because his son is a genius. A woman in the audience replied, "Every Jewish son is a genius!" The Jews are very proud people who make enormous contributions. The importance of this motion is the restatement of the vow that anti-Semitism is never acceptable or permissible. It does not represent the free speech of another person; it is the persecution of another people. We can say with great pride that this Parliament has in the past demonstrated its strong support for a people who have suffered from genocide—the Armenians. We do the same today for Australian Jews, and in doing so we thank them for their magnificent contributions. We are sending a strong bipartisan message to all citizens of this country that we have never and will never accept anti-Semitism.

Mr PAUL PEARCE (Coogee) [ 3.37 p.m. ]: I welcome the opportunity to speak in support of this motion as moved by the Premier. Racism in general and anti-Semitism in particular belittle a society. The rise of anti-Semitism, both in Australia and overseas, is disturbing to any person who believes in democracy and multiculturalism. Statistics from Britain indicate an annual increase of 7 per cent in the number of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in 2003. More disturbingly, a breakdown of that figure indicates a 15 per cent increase in anti-Semitic assaults and an increase of 31 per cent in the incidence of damage and desecration of Jewish property. The increase in such incidents in other areas of Europe has provoked the head of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, to call on European governments to make anti-Semitism a European Union-wide offence.

Australia has recorded a similar increase in reported incidents from 279 in 2002 to 481 in 2003. The incidents reported range from physical violence to property damage, and include threats, harassment and anti-Semitic graffiti and publications. My eastern suburbs colleague in the Federal Parliament the honourable member for Wentworth cited a number of specific incidents in our area of which I am also aware, including verbal abuse directed towards synagogue staff and similar abuse directed towards a Jewish man in Bondi Road . In addition, posters and stickers of a vile and racist nature are being attached to poles in areas of Randwick . It is fundamentally wrong that the members of a synagogue, as a place of worship, should find it necessary to employ security guards, yet that is the reality in many areas.

Anti-Semitism damages us all: The targets of the abuse, the perpetrators, who do whatever cause they espouse no credit, and our democratic society in general. It is often forgotten that the intellectual underpinning of much of the socialist and social democratic thought in Europe arose from within the intellectual and cultural life of European Jewry. The institution of the kibbutz in Israel , with its principles of common ownership of property and the concept of "to each according to his need and from each according to his ability" is a reflection of the communalism that underpins much Jewish intellectual thought. Vigorous political debate is a hallmark of a vibrant, democratic society. It is legitimate within that debate to be critical of the positions adopted from time to time by our government and overseas governments, and the Israeli Government is no exception. It is legitimate in a democratic society to voice criticism and to attempt to correct what we might view as wrongs.

Any regular reader of the Jewish press will readily observe a vigorous debate on aspects of the policies of the current Israeli Government. The Israeli Diaspora Minister, Nathan Sharansky, has said that such criticism was legitimate, whilst warning that it was often the vehicle for anti-semitism. However, it is my belief that in many instances the line between valid criticism and anti-semitism is being crossed. In a recent book review in the New York Post entitled "Hating Jews is Cool Again", Ramesh Ponnuru stated:

Anti-semitism never left, of course. The change that worries Schoenfeld is the erosion of the taboo against it.

The (book) "The Return of Anti-Semitism" is not an argument against the anti-semites, who are generally beyond reach of reason, so much as one against those who underestimate their poisonousness—or worse, tolerate it.

Anti-semitism—indeed, racism of any kind—is a rejection by the perpetrators of the very humanity of another human being. This devaluing the humanity of another human has historically led to exploitation, expropriation and murder. As representatives of our community in the Parliament, we must take a stand against anti-semitism and the perpetrators of hatred. I commend the motion to all members.

Mr PETER DEBNAM (Vaucluse) [ 3.41 p.m. ]: I join with other members of this House in supporting the motion and condemning anti-semitism. It is notable that this Parliament has always had a bipartisan approach to this issue, and it is clearly an important issue to many members in the Chamber. Most people would not be aware that the Mace of this House was presented to the Parliament by the Jewish Board of Deputies. As other members have said, anti-semitism has been a problem around the world for some time. The current resurgence of anti-semitism in Europe , and in France in particular, is of deep concern to the Jewish community worldwide. As the Leader of the Opposition pointed out, even in Australia members of the Jewish faith who go to observe their day of worship are faced with a security guard outside every synagogue. I look forward to the day when those security guards are not required. I do not know how we will convince the Jewish community that security guards are not required outside synagogues, when the abuse of Jews continues almost daily on the streets of Sydney, and particularly eastern Sydney.

Only 20 years ago the Hakoah Club in Bondi was bombed. In recent years a number of attacks in Vaucluse electorate were clearly intended as threats against the Jewish community. One of my major concerns is that, over the 10 years I have been a member of Parliament, to my knowledge no-one has actually been caught for these racist attacks in Sydney . I have discussed with successive police Ministers and numerous senior police officers the dilemma of a lack of sufficient resources to pursue these racists and bring them to justice. We know they are in Sydney , we know that they continue to campaign against the Jewish community, we know that we should be able to catch them, but we have not been able to do so. It is important that every member of this Parliament remembers the bipartisan approach we have taken to anti-semitism in condemning it. It is equally important that every member of this Parliament ensures that we also take direct action against racism. I do not

think we have been able to do that as yet.

The honourable member for Coogee raised a number of issues regarding the debate about Israel and anti-semitism. There is no doubt that some commentators, particularly in certain sections of the media, frequently cross the line into anti-semitism. The record of SBS television in attacking Israel year after year is appalling. The clear bias demonstrated in many of the SBS programs—a bias which occasionally is also apparent on ABC programs—is appalling. Official sanctions against that television station are warranted. I applaud the motion and the bipartisan approach that has been taken to this issue over the years, and I urge the Government to put more resources into pursuing the racists.

Motion agreed to.


Subjects:   Jews; Racial discrimination; Religions and Sects.

Speakers: Carr, Mr Bob; Brogden, Mr John; Pearce, Mr Paul; Debnam, Mr Peter.

Version:    Proof NSW Legislative Assembly Hansard Article No.16 of 24/02/2004 . Speech Type:  Motion.


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