Australian State Joins Move to Fight anti-Semitism

The London Declaration urges lawmakers to 'expose, challenge and isolate political actors who engage in hate against Jews and target the State of Israel as a Jewish collectivity.'

JTA
JTA
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Parliament House in Adelaide, Australia.
Parliament House in Adelaide, Australia.Credit: Wikimedia Commons
JTA
JTA

A state parliament in Australia unanimously passed a motion supporting the London Declaration on Combating Anti-Semitism.

South Australia’s lawmakers in Adelaide this week backed Labor’s Leesa Vlahos, the parliamentary secretary to the state premier, who moved the motion alongside Liberal lawmaker John Gardner.

“Anti-Semitism did not end at the conclusion of the Second World War,” Vlahos said. “It is as real today as it was 70 years ago, in the dreadful gas chambers of the Holocaust.”

The London Declaration – first signed in the United Kingdom in February 2009 – urges lawmakers to “expose, challenge and isolate political actors who engage in hate against Jews and target the State of Israel as a Jewish collectivity.”

In April 2013, Julia Gillard, then the Australian prime minister, became the first Australian parliamentarian to sign the declaration. Since then it has garnered the support of the entire federal Liberal Party, led by Tony Abbott, now the prime minister, as well as lawmakers from both sides of the political spectrum on the state and federal level.

“A Star of David was pulled off the neck of an individual in Adelaide very recently, swastikas were painted on the fences at the Hackney synagogue, and hateful and threatening messages have been left on answering machines of people identified as being part of Adelaide’s Jewish community,” Gardner told the chamber, according to The Australian newspaper.

Norman Schueler, president of the Jewish Community Council of South Australia, welcomed the news.

“We must never think that the crimes committed against the Jewish people in other states will not be visited upon our shores,” he said. “We need the collective will of our elected leaders to stand up to anti-Semitism.”

Adelaide’s Jewish community has shrunk in recent years to fewer than 1,000 people. Its only Jewish school, Massada College, closed in 2011.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott