If I had been asked earlier in the year what I would be writing about in November 2023 for Jewgle Perth, most likely the answer would have been some burning local community issue. There are many possible topics, the ineffectiveness of the JCC, availability of kosher staples e.g. cheese and possibly in light of the most recent agriculture data something to do with the price of kosher meat not falling in line with farm gate prices especially for lamb. Instead I am singing that famous song from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Let’s do the time warp again, it’s a jump to left …..”
Due to the recent events on Oct 7th In Israel and the subsequent rise in anti-semitism around the world we now find ourselves in a time warp and wondering is it really like Germany in the 1930’s or are we over reacting and just feeling hyper emotional given the recent events.
Pre war Europe
The German Jewish population in the 1930’s worked across multiple industries, attended universities and had the necessary freedoms to become civil servants, doctors, lawyers and other professions. The Jewish communities were prosperous and life was considered good. Antisemitism and violence was rare at the start of the 1930’s. This changed with the rise of the Nazis from 1933. The graph below shows the rise of antisemitism and associated violent incidents from 1933 to 1938.
To borrow a term from the Secretary General of the United Nations, the violence and events of pre war Europe against Jews did not “happen in a vacuum”. Multiple events lead to a worsening security situation for the Jews of Europe and it spread like an Australian bushfire in summer.
The past: 1930’s Key Events
July 18th 1925 – Mein Kampf published, setting out an agenda of genocide against the Jews.
Jan 30th 1933 – Adolf Hitler is appoimted the Chanellor of Germany
Feb 28th 1933 – President Hinderburg suspends constitutional protections in Germany
Mar 22nd 1933 – Dachau concentration camp is established
April 1st 1933 – Anti Jewish Boycott against all Jewish owned businesses
April 7th 1933 – German law to exclude all Jews and other deplorables from civil service positions
April 25th 1933 – Germans law to limit Jews at schools and universitiesMay 10th 1933 – Books deemed un-German are publicly burned. The students sought to purify German literature of “foreign,” especially Jewish, and other immoral influences. Among the authors whose works were burned was Helen Keller, an American whose belief in social justice encouraged her to champion disabled persons, pacifism, improved conditions for industrial workers, and women’s voting rights.
July 14th 1933 – German law to mandate forced sterilisation of certain individuals with physical and mental disabilities
Oct 4th 1933 – German law forbidding non-aryans to work in Journalism
Nov 24th 1933 – German law to allow courts to impose indefinite imprisonment
Aug 19, 1934 – Hitler becomes the absolute dictator of Germany
Sept 15th – Nuremberg Race laws
June 6th 1936 – Decree against Gypsies
July 6th 1938 – Evaian conference to discuss the growing refugee crisis
Oct 5th 1938 – German Jews passportrs declared invalid
Nov 9th 1938 – Kristillnacht – Synagogues, Jewish homes and businesses looted, at least 91 Jews murdered.
Nov 12th 1938 – All Jewish owned businesses are closed and Jews excluded form economic life.
The rise of violence is directly proportional to the laws enacted.
The Present: 2023
Step into the time warp machine and fast forward 90 years to 2023.
18th August 1988 – Hamas publish the Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement otherwise known as the HAMAS charter. The central Tennant is the elimination of world Jewry.
Oct 7th 2023 marked the deadliest day since the Holocaust for Jews living in Israel.
Those living outside of Israel have experienced increases in the level of anti-semitic incidents that even a year ago seemed improbable.
In other countries the trend is similar.
Anti Defamation League – ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) has recorded a significant spike in antisemitic incidents across the United States. Preliminary data from ADL Center on Extremism indicates that reported incidents of harassment, vandalism and assault increased by 388 percent over the same period last year.
London’s police force said there had been a 14-fold increase in incidents of antisemitism since the Oct. 7 attack. The Community Security Trust, which collates reports of antisemitism in Britain, said the number of incidents in the three weeks following the attack was the highest for any three-week period since it started collecting data in 1984.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Monday that since Oct. 7 there had been 819 antisemitic acts. That compares with a figure of 436 for the whole of 2022.
A survey by a civil society observatory, the RIAS, found a 240% year-on-year increase in antisemitic incidents in the period of Oct. 7-15.
The number of antisemitic incidents in October is nine times higher than the average recorded for that month over the past decade, according to David Saks, associate director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies.
In the week before the attack just one incident of violent anti-Semitism was reported in Australia. In the week after there were 38 incidents; in the second week 27; by the end of this week, another 32.
“It will be double that by the time all the incidents are reported from other states”, says Julie Nathan, research director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, based in Sydney. (Since researching, drafting and publishing this article which is approx 2 weeks the rate of anti semitic incidents is up almost 400% nationally.)
My own calculations show a rise of almost 100% before the official numbers are tabulated and cross checked. The trend is clear, local antisemitism is on the rise.
How many of us have had the temerity to question ourselves since Oct 7th 2023 and ask “Is the year of 2023 the equivalent of 1930’s in Germany ?”
In the 1930’s many thought the situation would improve and unfortunately it was to late by 1938 to escape. Many, sadly not enough, saw the potential destruction of European Jewry and fled Europe. Plenty more wanted to leave but were unable.
So is it really that bad in Australia, will it pass, how does it really compare ? Surely the events in 1930’s Germany are not really happening in Australia. To some extent that is true.
Anthony Albanese is not appointing himself the supreme chancellor of Australia and I doubt given our political system this would ever happen. Don’t all politicians dream of the easy road to dictatorship. 😊
There is a need to be mindful of where and how antisemitism presents in 2023.
There have been extremely ugly protests in Sydney where the voices of evil have been allowed free rein whilst the Jews were encouraged to be silent or stay at home for their own safety. The march on the Opera House turned ugly with chants of “Gas the Jews” and “Kill the Jews”. Local law enforcement has not shown any willingness to defend Jews or their right to free speech.
There have been no laws passed to prevent Jews from attending university but almost every university in Australia has released a biased media statement against Israel and Jews. Kudos to Perth AUJS (Australasian Union of Jewish Students) and background supporters who fought Curtin University management too reissue a statement that whilst supportive was not derogatory or demeaning to Jews.
Their has been particularly in Sydney incitement to violence from various mosques and preachers. Again the politicians threaten to deport and remove the trouble makers but so far it’s all talk and the damage is done.
The media coverage in general has switched quickly from initial support to outright bias. ABC have outperformed all other major TV stations in the level of bias they are willing to endorse and activism they are willing to support. This is backed globally by The BBC, CNN et al.
The modus operandi is always the same. Quote fictitious or misleading data from highly dubious non independent sources without credible verification. When calls are made for apologies, retractions, corrections or reclarification it is met with weasel words cowardice. This has real world consequences and can be directly linked to violence.
Witness the Al Shifra hospital debacle. Misleading information was published globally, riots occurred as a result in many countries causing significant trauma and safety issues for Jews globally. Even after it was proven beyond a shadow of doubt that it was Hamas who bombed the hospital many media organisations have refused to publish the truth. Al Jazeera and BBC I am looking at you.
Any reasonable person should be asking “If they bend the truth and outright lie about Israel and Jewish issues, what else are they lying to us about ? Should we mention the Voice, election predictions or climate change ?
Jews are not barred from entering any professions in Australia but many Jewish Doctors and Lawyers have experienced a lack of support from their colleagues and or medical associations. Many medical and legal institutions have issued statements criticising Israel and calling for a ceasefire. (Ceasefire is code for allowing Hamas to rearm and cause more trauma and destruction). This has been widely reported and sadly it has to be done anonymously in the media because Jewish professionals are so fearful of the backlash and effect on their careers.
Restrictions on Jewish trade in Australia do not formally exist in legislation. However, we have to contend with the BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) arseholes. There is no better description. One of the most insidious anti Jewish groups that operate globally, they also represent the highest level of hypocrisy. Their attempts at economic vandalism often fail and to date Israel and its trade only seems to be increase. Is it any wonder the BDS members are so bitter and twisted, years of investment have come to almost nothing.
The Labour party and Greens are not exempt from creating mayhem with their various attacks and attempt’s to downplay the suffering of our people. Sadly Labour and The Greens are only interested in the publicity they can generate from other people’s suffering. Their combined failure to stand up for the right side of morality is shameful and will be a lifelong curse on their reputation.
Our own Foreign Minister, Penny Wong had some advice for Israel on restraint lest the conflict spread. I am willing to bet that her favourite book is Neville Chamberlains memoir on appeasement strategies with rising dictatorships in post WW1 Europe ? Peddling instability is her choice to the wider detriment of our society. Ironically she will never be able to visit Gaza due to her lifestyle choices.
Monique Ryan the Teal member for Kooyong, copped a spray from Bialik College principal Jeremy Stowe Lindner over her bias in only acknowledging one side of the conflict. Many politicians, high profile persons, wannabe influencers and institutions only seem to have an opinion on Israel. It is inexplicable that they never issue statements on the suffering of all the other persecuted minorities. I know Israel and the Jews are the chosen people but that does not give everyone the right to pile on the denigration and disrespect. Monique Ryan did defend her position and only made it worse. Along with many of her political colleagues they are suffering from a common form of selective memory where the 1400 victims who were raped, tortured, burnt, shot and destroyed in their homes were simply forgotten.
The Prime Minster of Australia, Anthony Albanese and Optus unfortunately share a lot in common, both are slow to respond to issues and communication is lacking. At first the response to the crisis was slow, ineffectual, and said through almost gritted teeth. It must be hard to juggle the radical university anti-Zionist with the political realities of running a country and caring for all your citizens. I suppose that’s what they mean with they say Politicians need to show conviction and have a backbone.
Every sporting event has spectators ready to join in without hesitation and the various Unions and trades councils have not disappointed. Quick to make statements about the suffering of “innocent“ civilians they quickly forget that Israel was and still is one of the only examples in the world of a society that functions and thrives with socialist ideals. The real colours of the union movement have shone through brighter than a Mornington Penninsula lighthouse. They do not care about their member’s at all and only exist to further benefit their own existence and powerbase.
We may not be in 1930 yet but we are well on our way. If you don’t agree and believe its an over reaction google James Kennard Mount Scopus Principle in his recent article from the Australian. “The four circles that allow evil against Jews to flourish”
My own interpretation and summary of James Kennards four circle’s article is we need five circles or spheres to create the right environment.
- Perpetrators – HAMAS, proscribed terrorist organisations and radical muslim clerics
- Celebrators – Pro Palestinian Anti Zionist protestors, religious preachers, influencers
- Enablers – Political parties, Unions, Media
- Justifiers – The political and university Elite
- Silent zombies – Those that state they are neutral because they are to afraid to speak up.
For the first time since World War II the circles are completely aligned. A lot of what happened later in the 1930’s was institutionalised and legalised anti-Semitism. That was only allowed to occur due to the cultural anti-Semitism that preceded it. We are in the early 2020’s. Hopefully the late 2020’s will not reflect the historical pattern.