Senate debates

Wednesday, 28 February 2024

Statements by Senators


1:49 pm

Photo of Jacinta Nampijinpa PriceJacinta Nampijinpa Price (NT, Country Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise today to speak about the troubling increase in antisemitism in our nation. Antisemitic behaviour is on the rise around the world, sadly, and Australia is no exception. We are a country of incredible tolerance, and it saddens me that this sort of hatred has been perpetuated and, in some horrible cases, accepted. No group of people should fear for their safety because of their religion.

When a New Zealand mosque was the site of an unthinkable massacre in 2019, people of all faiths came together. People created human shields around mosques to ensure that Australian Muslims felt safe to pray and express their faith. That is the reaction we should have had in Australia after the terrible events of 7 October, yet Australia's Jewish community has instead been subjected to fear and persecution. I have seen images of spray-painted slurs and calls to kill Jews. I've read the stories, as I'm sure many of you have, of Jewish families telling their children to hide their true identity and of 13-year-old girls being assaulted. I've read quotes like 'I am going to blow a hole through your synagogue and bring back Hitler to finish the job.' Disgraceful!

Let's not forget, just a few days ago, when a Jewish man was trying to attend a town hall meeting and was physically assaulted by anti-Israel protesters. The Victorian police should have arrested his attackers but instead forcibly removed him for breaching the peace. This is unacceptable behaviour in our country in 2024.