PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF ANTISEMITISM ON THE RISE IN AUSTRALIA

Neo-Nazis in Australia are fuelling a rise in anti-Semitic abuse, with a national Jewish organisation reporting a nearly 10 per cent increase in public displays of anti-Jewish hatred. Anti-Semitic material from self-declared Nazi groups has led to a 40 per cent surge in reported threats to Jewish people. This includes material posted by the newly formed Antipodean Resistance group at universities, schools and shopping centres urging people to “Reject Jewish Poison” and “Legalise the ­Execution of Jews”. Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) director Peter Wertheim said neo-Nazis posed a greater threat than most Australians realised.

 

Wertheim said “Law enforcement agencies need to treat extremism from the far-right with the same level of seriousness with which they have been treating Islamist extremism,” he said. “In many ways they are the Anglo-European equivalent to the foolish young Muslim men who have been recruited by Islamic State.” Antipodean Resistance was formed last year in the wake of growing white supremacist movements in Europe and the US, most noted in August’s Charlottesville protests in Virginia which led to the death of a woman protesting against the neo-Nazis.

 

Antipodean Resistance also produced Chinese-language posters threatening foreign students with deportation. The biggest display of anti-Semitism was the Antipodean Resistance’s propaganda campaign targeting Melbourne University with hundreds of offensive posters. Anti-Semitic posters also went up near two Melbourne high schools, and a shopping centre in Cheltenham, a southeast  Melbourne suburb. Australasian Union of Jewish Students chairwoman Isabella Polgar said university authorities had acted swiftly in taking down the posters but noticed there had been a rise in anti-Semitic incidents on campus, including leaflets supporting Holocaust denial.

 

“The far-right deny the genocide of over six million Jews during the Holocaust and spread libels about Jews being globalists. Meanwhile the far-left abuse and target Jewish students’ right to self-determination,” she said. Victoria Police investigated Antipodean Resistance after it put up posters near a secondary college at Sandringham in August and over anti-Semitic posters at Melbourne University last December. Victoria Police investigated the Antipodean Resistance after they put up posters at a secondary college at Sandringham in August and the swath of anti-Semitic posters at Melbourne University last December but no arrests were made.

 

Both state and federal police spokespeople told The Australian they could not comment on the Antipodean Resistance but said they monitor all extremist groups closely. Anti-Semitic violence is down in this year’s report but there are signs neo-Nazi ideology is starting to turn from propaganda to action. Rabbi Shmueli Feldman has been targeted by a barrage of anti-Semitic abuse this year in Canberra which he said has taken a more neo-Nazi tone. Six months ago he was called into an elite boys’ school to talk to senior students who had been circulating white supremacist, anti-Semitic material.

 

“We’re no strangers to antisemitism but I’ve been in New York at a conference of rabbis and it seems everywhere the threat from the far right is growing,” he said. Rabbi Feldman’s family were first targeted in January last year when a rock was thrown through the window of his children’s bedroom but the police couldn’t respond due to the lack of CCTV footage. Swastikas were graffitied near his synagogue in August and police only acted after local newspapers and the ABC broke the story. “I don’t think they quite understood the meaning of the swastika, what it meant for the community,” Rabbi Feldman said.

 

Six weeks ago, Rabbi Feldman and his family were walking home in their cul-de-sac when shouted at by a group of young white youths.  “The driver, said he was drunk and it was his friend who shouted out the abuse; the police said they couldn’t make him reveal his identity and there wasn’t a problem because they were just drunk. The youths came up to us at 4pm on a Sunday” he said. “Our children know the police now. Whenever they see them, they ask ‘Are they here because they’ve caught the bad people?'” ACT Police said “all avenues of enquiry had been exhausted” with the drivers who abused Rabbi Feldman but that they took hate crimes seriously.

 

The rabbi commended territory and federal politicians who supported his community during the past year but said ordinary Australians must stand up against antisemitism. “This Nazi ideology is seeping into the mainstream and we can’t tolerate it,” he said. Rabbi Eli Feldman said he and his family were called “Christ killers” by a woman in Sydney’s CBD in August this year. “I chose not to engage” he said. “Generally, I think Australia is very welcoming. There was a wonderful, bipartisan, pre-Hanukah event in the NSW parliament; that’s where the leadership and the country is at.”

 

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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NETANYAHU SAYS DARKNESS IS DESCENDING ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Speaking before the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed the strong bond between Israel and the US, while also issuing strong words of warning about a nuclear Iran. “It is especially great to be in America’s capital now that it’s acknowledged Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Thank you, President Trump, for that historic decision,” the prime minister said to a round of applause from the AIPAC audience. He also praised the Trump administration for reinforcing that move with the relocation of America’s embassy.

 

Netanyahu made it clear that the US was not the only country with which Israel had strong ties. He touted the Jewish state’s flourishing diplomatic relations with 160 countries in the Middle East and beyond. “Pretty soon the countries that don’t have relations with Israel, are going to be isolated,” Netanyahu said. The Israeli leader warned of a clear and present danger facing the world: the threat of a nuclear Iran. “Darkness is descending on our region,” Netanyahu warned, naming “radical tyranny” as the force behind Tehran’s quest to build an “aggressive empire” that includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Yemen and more, all in a quest to seek Israel’s destruction.

 

He condemned President Obama’s 2015 Iran nuclear agreement and said Iran its proxies are looking for ways to attack Israel. “We read in the Book of Esther about an earlier Persian attempt to exterminate our people. They failed then. They’ll fail now.” “In addition to moving its army, its air force, its navy to Syria to be able to attack Israel from closer hand, it’s also seeking to develop, to build precision-guided missile factories in Syria, Lebanon against Israel. I will not let that happen,” he vowed, before praising President Donald Trump for his firm stance against a nuclear Iran.

 

“President Trump has made it clear that his administration will not accept Iran’s aggression in the region. He has made clear that he too will never accept a nuclear-armed Iran. That is the right policy. I salute President Trump on this,” Netanyahu said. “And the president has also made it clear that if the fatal flaws of the nuclear deal are not fixed, he will walk away from the deal and restore sanctions,” he added. “Israel will be right there by America’s side, and so will a hundred countries in the region. “The prime minister concluded by reminding those present that the “wellspring” of the US and Israel’s enduring friendship was their shared values, and a strong faith in God.

 

“They come from a certain book, a great book, a good book. It’s called the Bible,” Netanyahu told the audience. “It says that all of us are created in the image of God. These values are an inseparable part of America’s story,” he continued. “They’re an inseparable part of Israel’s story. And today we’re writing a new chapter of our common story, a story of freedom, of justice, of peace, of hope.” “And it’s because we’re inspired by the same ideas because we’re animated by the same values that America and Israel have forged, an eternal bond that can never ever be broken,” he said. Netanyahu also praised some recent pro-Israel legislation from the US Congress.

 

“Israel hopes that the passage of the Taylor Force Act makes clear to President Abbas that America has zero tolerance for terrorists,” Netanyahu said. That call for congressional support was also clear at AIPAC, with congressmen from both sides vowing support of the Jewish state. “Security of the US is strong when our bond with Israel is strong,” said Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ. While there may be bipartisan support on Capitol Hill, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL, says it’s a different story in the classroom. “I am deeply concerned about what is happening in many college campuses,” Rubio said. ”We long to see a solid foundation built on a generation dedicated to US-Israel relations.

 

Source: Intercessors for America

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ISRAELI DEFENCE FORCE SOLDIERS PETITION CHIEF TO RESTORE ARMY BIBLE STUDIES

Following the cancellation of a weekly Bible study class in October, over 800 Israeli Defence Force soldiers have signed a petition imploring Israel Defence Force (IDF) Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot to reinstate the lessons. The popular class was cancelled by General Sharon Haliva, commander of the IDF’s Technological and Logistics Directorate, without an explanation. General Haliva is known for his anti-religious sentiments. In 2010, several Knesset members even called for his dismissal following harsh rhetoric against observant soldiers.

 

“‘Sunday Sadness’ is a running phrase among Israel’s soldiers, which is used to describe their mood at having to return to base on Sundays after the Sabbath,” shared Dr. John A.I. Grossman, Chairman of LIBI USA, an organization which supports Israeli soldier welfare outside of the IDF budget. “This Bible class was called ‘Sunday Happiness’ to counteract that feeling. It brought a deeper purpose and understanding to our soldiers about the Holy Land and the importance of protecting it.” The class was given in the parking lot of a huge training base in Israel’s southern Negev. The base is used by a large number of IDF soldiers for reporting to duty on Sunday.

 

There, they wait for buses to take them to their assignments. Rather than waste often extensive downtime, Rabbi Peretz Einhorn arranged for the Bible study classes. The petition, signed by more than 800 IDF soldiers, credits Rabbi Einhorn with “softening the landing from the house to the military routine.” “The rabbi talks to us about values ??and morality, strengthens us to be professional and disciplined soldiers with moral values, magnanimous and welcoming,” the soldiers wrote in the petition. The class “makes us good soldiers, the soldiers you want to raise, soldiers with values, disciplined, and happy.”

 

“Unfortunately, too many Israelis have missed out on an education about their heritage and their country,” continued Grossman. “The importance of Bible study and cultural education should not be underestimated. Grossman notes that it is a positive sign that soldiers desire to strengthen their army service by gaining knowledge of their land and history through Bible study. “Many of Israel’s greatest soldiers and officers come from religious backgrounds,” he said. “Soldiers who know that they are doing God’s will by protecting Israel have a greater clarity on their mission and strong motivation. This is a win-win situation for everyone.”

 

Source: Breaking Israel News

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