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Australian PM speaks out on antisemitism

Anthony Albanese has described the rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia as the worst social disharmony Australia has experienced in his lifetime.
TJI Wrap
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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will soon have to decide which way Australia votes in a UN resolution on Palestinian statehood (AAP Image/Esther Linder).

Published: 12 February 2024

Last updated: 21 March 2024

Anthony Albanese has described the rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia as the worst social disharmony Australia has experienced in his lifetime.

Rising attacks on the Jewish community, including death threats, boycotts and doxing, have prompted Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to condemn antisemitism unequivocally.

Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, Albanese condemned all forms of antisemitism, citing in particular Greens MP Jenny Leong’s remark about the “tentacles” of the “Jewish lobby”.

“I condemn totally any form of antisemitism including the comments by my local member, the member for Newton, whose comments about tentacles with regard to the Jewish community I find offensive.”

Albanese noted that the reference to tentacles has its origins in antisemitism and added, “I condemn it unequivocally.” He also condemned Islamophobic comments and behaviour.

Albanese said Australia was experiencing the “worst social disharmony” he had seen, not only in his time in politics, but in his lifetime.

On Friday, Albanese initiated an interviewed with 3AW’s Tom Elliott to comment on a a Herald Sun report about Jewish residents fleeing Melbourne’s northern suburbs due to antisemitism. It followed The Jewish Independent’s report last week about a Jewish couple closing their northern suburbs shop due to antisemitic attack and boycotts.  

Albanese described the situation as "a tragedy" and "completely unacceptable".

“It is tragic that people feel that they have to consider moving from their local communities. That's completely unacceptable. It's not the Australia I want to see,” he said.

He also pointed out the fact that members of the Jewish community joined anti-racism groups because “the Jewish community have a very proud history of standing up against racism in all its forms”.

"They've taken the experience of anti-Semitism and broadened it out… to opposition to racism in all forms,” the Prime Minister said.

He also condemned the doxing and targeting of Jewish people.

“The targeting of people because they happen to be Jewish is just completely unacceptable,” Albanese said. “It has got to stop. It must stop.”

Fighting doxing

A cross-party group of federal MPs is to criminalise doxing, following the release of a list of 600 names of Jewish creatives last week.

Labor MP Josh Burns described social media as the “new frontier” for antisemitism. Liberal MP Julian Leeser and independent Allegra Spender are among those supporting the idea of anti-doxing laws.

“Whilst this attack is aimed at Jewish Australians, the tactic of doxing can hurt anyone perceived to be involved in Australian public life, from the home addresses of public servants and police to local branch members of a political party, or the details of family members of a public official,” Leeser said.

Spender commented, “We are all deeply concerned by the tragic and horrifying events in Israel and Gaza, but recklessly publishing details of fellow Australians to provoke division will not have any positive impact on peace in the Middle East,” she said. “It simply tears at our social fabric and brings enormous distress to fellow Australians.”


'Completely unacceptable': Anthony Albanese reveals horror at reports about Jewish residents fleeing Melbourne's north due to anti-Semitism (Sky)

Cross-party MPs back Jewish community push to outlaw doxxing (SMH)


‘Life-saving work’: Albanese government under pressure to reverse UNRWA funding suspension (Guardian)More than 12,000 pro-Palestinian advocates have penned letters to their federal representatives calling for the UN funding to be reinstated.


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The Jewish Independent acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and strive to honour their rich history of storytelling in our work and mission.

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