House debates

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Statements by Members


1:45 pm

Photo of Andrew LeighAndrew Leigh (Fenner, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury) Share this | | Hansard source

This year many are celebrating Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights. Yet something very dark is happening in the anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown protests. Extremists are exposing vaccine-hesitant audiences to anti-Semitic propaganda on a wide scale. Jewish news outlet Plus61J reported that over 100,000 users now follow Australian anti-vaccination pages that promote anti-Semitic bigotry. In Melbourne, recent anti-vax protests were attended by several prominent neo-Nazis and addressed by a speaker who once decried the influence of Australian Jews in media and business. The organising page of the Adelaide anti-vaccination rally claimed, 'Satanic Jews run the health industry.'

The member for Hughes has reposted from a neo-Nazi page that described Hitler as a 'hero'. The member for Dawson was advertised as a speaker at an anti-lockdown protest alongside an activist who termed Israel 'an occultist testing hub'. Yet they won't acknowledge the many anti-Semites in their midst.

Meanwhile, anti-Semitic incidents have escalated. Jewish gravestones have been desecrated in Tasmania. Anti-Semitic graffiti has appeared in Victoria. Days before the anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom, a Nazi flag was flown directly opposite the Brisbane synagogue. As Plus 61J's Oscar Kaspi-Crutchett notes, RDA and the UAP should acknowledge and denounce anti-Semitism in their movements.

Labor stands uncompromisingly with the Jewish community against anti-Semitism. Every MP should do the same.