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Extra funding for Australian Jewish community security

TJI Wrap
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Extra funding for Australian Jewish community security

Published: 24 October 2023

Last updated: 5 March 2024

Victoria Police say they will lay charges on anyone who uses the Nazi salute, after new legislation banning the gesture came into effect last week.

As antisemitic attacks increase in the shadow of the Israel-Gaza war, the Australian Government is stepping up funding for Jewish and Islamic community security.

The government will provide $25 million to the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) and $25 million to Australian Palestinian, Muslim and other communities affected by the Hamas attacks on Israel and ongoing conflict.

The government said enhancing safety at Jewish schools and pre-schools was a key objective of this funding decision.

The government also announced:

$12.8 million over four years to protect Australians from terrorist and violent extremist online content, including support for a 24/7 online crisis response and resources for online safety via the eSafety Commissioner

  • $6 million for mental health and wellbeing support to students in Jewish and Islamic schools and students of Jewish and Islamic faith in government schools, recognising the impact of the conflict on young people in these communities
  • $3 million over two years for targeted mental health and community wellbeing support services to address psychological harm through the Program of Assistance for Survivors of Torture and Trauma and targeted Primary Health Networks

The new funding is in addition to the $50 million for 177 grants under the Securing Faith-Based Places grant program.

Both Jewish and Muslim communities have reported an increase in attacks since the Hamas attack on October 7. The ECAJ said the number of antisemitic attacks went from one the week before the attack to 37 the week after. The Islamophobia Register reported a fourfold increase.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he was horrified by the antisemitic chants at a pro-Palestinian rally at the Sydney Opera House.

Neo-Nazi activity has also increased recently.  A former Young Liberal member turned neo-Nazi has been charged after he allegedly damaged a public library in Melbourne’s north with antisemitic graffiti.

Stefan Eracleous was charged with criminal damage after public toilets inside Mill Park Library on Plenty Road were allegedly graffitied with antisemitic slurs on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday last week.

Victoria’s new legislation outlawing the Nazi salute has now passed into law.

Victoria Police is warning action will be taken against anyone who uses the Nazi salute in public, now that the gesture has become illegal. Offenders face a fine up to $23,000 fine and up to 12 months’ imprisonment/ 

Deputy Commissioner Neil Paterson referred to a rally held one week ago where National Socialist Network members held an antisemitic sign and performed a Nazi salute. "If any member of public, including the National Socialist Network, attend any of those rallies and undertake a Nazi salute then police will be pursuing those individuals to ensure that we enforce the new law … hold them to account, charge them and bring them before a court of law," he said.

Supporting Australian communities affected by Hamas attacks on Israel and ongoing conflict (Attorney-General)

Victoria Police warns action will be taken if people use Nazi salutes (ABC)

Neo-Nazi charged over antisemitic graffiti in Melbourne’s library bathrooms (SMH)


As a Jew, I can despair or look to the lessons of history (Josh Frydenberg, SMH)
Thirteen days ago, my world changed, our world changed, forever. The medieval slaughter of innocents representing the single biggest loss of Jewish life since the Holocaust punctured the aura of invincibility that surrounded the Israeli Defence Force.

Australia can be a model for the world – a safe place for protest and grieving for both Palestinians and Jews (Michael Chaitow, Guardian)

I am a proud, progressive Jew and I refuse to accept that there can be no bridges built between communities.

Detroit Jewish leader found stabbed to death outside her home (Jerusalem Post)
Samantha Woll, an interfaith activist who also worked in politics, was 40. It is unclear if the killing has any connection to the war in Israel.

Michigan Jewish man who said he planned to ‘hunt Palestinians’ charged with making terrorist threat (JTA)
A Jewish man in metropolitan Detroit was arrested and charged with making a terroristic threat on Saturday after allegedly asking on social media if anyone wanted to help him “go to Dearborn & hunt Palestinians.”

‘Not safe anywhere now’: American Jews are flocking to gun training classes (NBC)

“We can’t put down the phone without picking up the next one,” said a rabbi in Los Angeles who runs a nonprofit group that offers firearm training to the Jewish community.

‘A lot of pain’: Europe’s Jews fear rising antisemitism after Hamas attack (Guardian)
Protection of Jewish sites increased in towns and cities across continent after outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas.

Spain-Israel tensions flare and multiple Spanish synagogues are hit with anti-Israel graffiti (JTA)
Political tensions escalated between Israel and Spain this past week as Spanish Jews reeled from a series of incidents outside synagogues.

In Turkey, Hamas attacks trigger tsunami of Israel-hate and outright antisemitism (Haaretz)  
No one expected Erdogan's Turkey to overdo the solidarity with the victims of the Hamas atrocities. But the cross-party deluge of denunciations of Israel's  “barbarism,” comparisons between Netanyahu and Hitler and embrace of Hamas goes far beyond failing to offer any condolences to Israeli victims.

Why did the octopus doll disappear from Greta Thunberg's anti-Israel tweet?  (Ynet)
Climate activist deletes post declaring support for Gaza. The reason? Not due to complete disregard for slaughter of over 1300 Israelis or support for murderous terrorist group, but because of a plush octopus toy. “The stuffed animal … can be interpreted as a symbol for antisemitism”.

Photo: A police camera protects Israeli flags and posters about hostages at Caulfield Park (Deborah Stone)

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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