Anti-semitism is on the rise in Australia, according to a new report from the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. Cases of verbal and physical assault are up by more than a third from last year, JTA reports. according to the annual Report on Anti-Semitic Incidents in Australia.
The report cited 312 incidents occuring between October 2013 and September 2014, up from 231 incidents the previous year—roughly a 35 percent increase.
This summer in particular brought news of several troubling anti-Semitic incidents in Australia. In August, five drunk teenagers boarded a schoolbus carrying Jewish children from three Sydney-area Jewish day schools, yelling “Heil Hitler” and “Kill the Jews.” The teenagers, who were arrested later that week, also threatened to cut the children’s throats.
Later that month, residents in the Sydney neighborhoods of Bondi Beach and Double Bay received a flier in their mailboxes that read, “Wake up Australia, Jews have been kicked out of countries 109 times through history … Could it be that having them in a European country is harmful to the host?”
At the time, both incidents were attributed to the Israeli operation in Gaza, and the new report cites the war as a likely trigger for the increase in anti-Semitic acts. But it’s unclear from the report whether the increase was a one-time hiccup or a long-term trend.
Zack Schrieber is an intern at Tablet Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @zschrieber.