Anti-Semitism in Australia

The recent assault on a Jewish teenager in Melbourne — by a pair of racist bogans armed with baseball bats and blonde mullets — has prompted a more extensive AAP article on anti-Semitism in Australia, Anti-Semitism ‘reaching scary levels’ (The Age, August 23, 2007). The impetus for the article is presumably provided by the fact that the bashing follows on from the widely-publicised assault on Jewish businessman Menachem Vorchheimer last October (by a number of incredibly brave Ocean Grove footballers), and racist Internet postings made earlier this month by some other terrifically sporting cricketers from McKinnon. Note that, to its credit, McKinnon Cricket Club appears to have responded much more positively to the racist commentary (allegedly) made by some of its senior members than Ocean Grove Football Club did in relation to the racist abuse and assault of Vorchheimer: in the immediate aftermath, club coach Matthew Sproule denied any wrongdoing on the part of his boys. (The situation was further complicated by the involvement of an off-duty policeman in the incident.)

An extract from the article:

…In Victoria last year, Jewish organisations recorded 160 anti-Semitic incidents while the [Executive Council of Australian Jewry] listed 442 incidents Australia-wide in the year ending September 2006.

At the end of the Second World War, Australia could boast the largest number of Holocaust survivors per capita outside Israel after accepting thousands of Jewish refugees, mostly from Poland. The latest census showed there were 50,000 Jews living in Victoria, but Jewish leaders believe the number is closer to 80,000 because many people do not feel comfortable recording their religion.

Jewish Holocaust Museum executive director Bernard Korbman says 30 survivors of the Holocaust work as volunteers at the centre in Elsternwick and they have been shaken by what happened at Glick’s. “It wasn’t just the bashing, but what they were yelling out as they did it – things like ‘go back to where you belong, you f…ing Jew’,” Mr Korbman said. “We are Australians, this is where we come from. The Holocaust survivors have told me how much they see Australia as a safe haven and how much they love it and respect its democratic institution. But these people are trying to disenfranchise us of our country and our nationality.”

The Glick’s attack also reverberated in State Parliament where Premier John Brumby said such behaviour was totally unacceptable. “Our sympathy obviously goes out to the particular individual and to members of the Jewish community, but moreover, to any member of an ethnic or minority community which is assaulted or abused,” Mr Brumby said. “Such behaviour has never been a part of the culture that we have in this state. We pride ourselves on being the multicultural capital of Australia.”

That “Such behaviour has never been a part of the culture that we have in this state” is, of course, an outrageous lie; ‘such behaviour’ as violent assault having been a rather crucial element of the state’s foundation (to say nothing of the White Australia policy which formed its ongoing basis for most of the twentieth century). Thus:

In Victoria it has been estimated that the Koori population declined by about 60% in just 15 years between 1835 and 1850 as more than 68 individual ‘massacres’ were perpetrated in that period. Indeed, according to [a] representative of the North West Clans of Victoria, Mr Gary Murray, of the 38 clans that lived in Victoria B.C. (Before Cook) only 24 today have living descendants. By 1850 virtually all active resistance to the invasion had been quelled in Victoria. Census figures published in March 1857 showed that only 1,768 Aborigines were left in all of that state. ~ Gary Foley, Australia and the Holocaust: A Koori Perspective, 1997

Nevertheless, Brumby is indeed correct to note that contemporary Melbourne is a multicultural city, and public, organised forms of anti-Semitism currently have a very limited presence on the Australian political landscape. Instead, over time, political expressions of hatred for Jews, while maintaining local roots, have evolved into globalised, electronic-based forms. Stormfront, for example, is the world’s largest gathering of anti-Semites, and has a section dedicated to promoting hatred of Jews and assorted other forms of racialised prejudice within Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand. Despite claiming many tens of thousands of members, the active membership probably numbers no more than a few hundred. Nevertheless, these several hundred belong to probably all the major racist right-wing institutions in Australasia, from the geriatric bigots associated with The League of Rights to more recent interventions such as the Australia First Party, online forum Australian New Nation and the New Zealand National Front, as well as more straightforwardly neo-Nazi ‘skinhead’ (sic) groupings such as Blood & Honour and the Hammerskins.

Racism, punks and yuppies

In Melbourne, the yuppification of punk, combined with the residues of the more classically reactionary — though contested — genre that is heavy metal, has resulted in a more depoliticised subcultural milieu, one in which the presence of boneheads, both on stage and at gigs, is certainly tolerated (if not publicly acknowledged). The best recent example of this is the band Bulldog Spirit. Originally from Canberra, drummer Joel is a bonehead, and has previously recorded and toured with neo-Nazi bands including Deaths Head, Fortress and Ravenous. Some punk bands have also voiced their support for a local neo-Nazi venue, The Birmingham Hotel, in Fitzroy.

On a micro-political level, then, the punk subculture reveals the same sorts of tensions as exist within the broader public sphere: bourgeois indifference to struggles for freedom and equality is matched by a laissez-faire attitude towards the nature of political projects supported. As further example, two minor local punk distributors — Deadset Music in Melbourne and Snapshot Records in Sydney — happily make money from the sale of music produced by neo-Nazi, fascist and White Power bands and labels. In addition, both Fiona Deadset and Jay Snapshot count boneheads among their closest friends and allies; Fiona further lending her support to B&H and the SCHS by attending last year’s memorial gig, and Jay lending his support for the venue in which it took place by attempting to organise a gig at ‘The Birmy’.

In an earlier period, fascist infiltration was sometimes dealt with by way of some of the more spiky punks adopting a zero tolerance approach — again, whether at gigs or on the streets. Some even adopted the same approach as The Baldies did at another time and place: attack on sight. More generally, however, the failure to not only develop autonomous institutions — not only labels, but more crucially social centres and venues — but even the failure to recognise their importance, lends itself to forms of cultural and political recuperation (and the dominance of owners and promoters) antithetical to the anarchic spirit of the best of ‘punk rock’ culture. Further, the emphasis on the development of a reactionary hyper-masculinity in punk and ‘hardcore’ — aside from encouraging bands like Black Fag, Gayrilla Biscuits and Youth of Togay — has also witnessed a concomitant de-emphasis on developing collective forms of struggle. Instead much — though of course not all — of the political terrain is occupied by chickenshit conformists, fashion victims, yuppies with gym memberships, and jocks with spiky hair… although to what extent depends, as always, on the patience of those who know ‘punk’ to be something more and other than this.

Within more mainstream (read: elite) circles, anti-Semitism is rarely endorsed, at least seldom directly. Thus while Alexander Downer’s address to The League of Rights caused him some minor embarrassment, and Pauline Hanson’s address to the Inverell Forum drew some further media attention, few others are willing to be seen to be associated with such bigotry (or at least not openly).

Anti-Semitism, Stormfront Down Under & the Sydney Forum

Stormfront, on the other hand, is resolutely and unashamedly anti-Semitic, and all who join it — including individuals such as Dr James Saleam and Welf Herfurth of AF / the Sydney Forum and Luke Connors in Melbourne (formerly of the now defunct youth wing of the AF, the Patriotic Yoof League) — are obviously aware of this fact, and endorse it. Or as one Little Hitler puts it:

Here is the current Statement of Stormfront policy:

…First, we share a racialist vision for the general prosperity, security, and betterment of our people.

From that commitment flows our most important message: we name the Jew as the deadliest, if not the only, threat to our existence as a race. Forge this message in titanium.

…That, in a nutshell, is Stormfront policy.

–jack_boot,
–Chief of Staff, Stormfront

Two upcoming events of interest to anti-Semites and members of the far right generally are this weekend’s Sydney Forum and the Ian Stuart Donaldson memorial gig in Melbourne in October. I’ve discussed both previously, but organisers of the Sydney Forum (Saleam & Co.) have since announced that their special international guests are a Croatian fascist by the name of Dr. Tomislav Sunic and an anonymous speaker from Palestine.

Like many other English-speaking far right intellectuals, it seems, Sunic is a former US academic, whose work seeks to expand upon that of previous fascist intellectuals such as Carl Schmitt. He most recently addressed a meeting of the Institute for Historical Review in March of this year, while in 2004, Sunic addressed the official launch of “New Right” in the UK. Sunic’s address to another fascist gathering (“Euro-Fest 2003”) the year previously is reported by the SPLC as follows:

…billed as the highlight of the evening, was a former Croatian diplomat whose topic was “Europe Under Attack: From the Early Islamic Onslaught to Communist Disaster.” Tomislav Sunic began by telling the audience about his childhood in Croatia, his visit to Amsterdam as a young man, smoking pot and listening to the Grateful Dead. After that, he said, he went on to get his Ph.D. in political science in America.

Sunic’s central theme was that Europe has been repeatedly invaded by “alien” peoples and that whites have become a minority in Western Europe. He railed on about non-white immigrants, ending with the Turkish workers who have moved to Germany. “The Turks,” he said, “are enslaving white people in Germany.”

“Wow,” [National] Alliance leader Stojkovic said as Sunic ended. “I am really moved.”

Further tear-jerking is revealed in White Nationalism: National Vanguard, Confederate Knights are Kaput, Intelligence Report, No.126, Summer 2007.

To Be Concluded…

See also : Jeremy Jones, Confronting Reality: Anti-Semitism in Australia Today, Jewish Political Studies Review, 16:3-4 (Fall 2004): “Paranoid and extremist views about the “political and economic establishment” have drawn together far-Right, far-Left, and some anarchist groups in opposition to “globalization,” to various government policy proposals that they perceive as empowering a state that is an enemy, and to Israel. There has been almost interchangeable anti-Semitic rhetoric coming from groups that would regard themselves as being diametrically opposed, politically and ideologically.”

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  1. Mick,

    If Whites want to live in a society of many colours, races, and creeds – free from racism, bigotry and idiocy, then what’s the problem with that? Stop trying to enforce your views on everyone else!

  2. Luke, then move to Singapore or South Africa or Iraq or somewhere else. Bring about your own downfall by all means. But you don’t have a right to bring about the downfall of other people who want to build a secure future for themselves and their children. White people built this country and the civilised society within it. They righfully own it and it’s normal to want to protect it. You don’t have a right to destroy that in your rush to bring society down to the lowest common denominator as part of your retarded left-wing fantasy. If you want to live a crime riddled, uncivilsed, tribal existence ending with a violent death at age 30 then move to South Africa, Palestine or Iraq. This is a civilised country and to keep it that way a sensible approach is to keep it white.

  3. That s not exactly a stinking shithole, Luke. Perhaps you should aim lower.

    The Spanish might act like lefties, but that s because they re a noble people(s) who actually have the ability to make such a flawed system work. Much like the Scandinavians and even the Germans to some extent. Scratch that workers paradise exterior and you ll find one of the most nationalistic countries in Western Europe.

  4. I’d have to agree that Spain is not a stinking shithole.

    But I wouldn’t say that Singapore was either. According to this site http://www.langara.bc.ca/prm/2003/singapore.html Singapore has 1/2 the crime rate of Vancouver, with 12 times the population.

    And South Africa’s problems emerged from years and years of oppression, through a little thing called ‘apartheid’.

    Oh, and then there’s Iraq. Years and years of turmoil involving a NATIONALIST GOVERNMENT and Western intervention have ensured that there’ll be years and years of turmoil to come – helped on by the West’s quest to liberate the people and put in power the West’s friends. We don’t like the new Iraqi president so much when he turns around and criticises us now, do we?

    And Palestine – you’d be a little pissed off too if you were dispossessed of land in a war 30 years ago and then promised it back and then had that promise reneged upon. Plus you were fighting against a military system assisted by the biggest global power in the world. Makes things a little tough.

    So yeah, I’d be quite happy to live in any of those countries, at least they are experiencing oppression which creates the need for struggle, rather than claiming racial superiority over other peoples for reasons that are frankly illogical.

    And finally, Spanish nationalism – you’d hardly call Francoism supported when he had to murder over 2 million republicans just to ensure that he maintained power. And if you’re talking about Catalan or Basque nationalism, you’re talking about a body of separatist politics very different to any of the shite you appear to spout.

    Viva Anarquia.

    oh, and my first comment still stands. It merely reflected the idiocy of Mick’s comment. If you don’t like what @ndy writes, why are you reading this page?

  5. But I wouldn’t say that Singapore was either.

    I never said Singapore was a stinking shithole. I said South Africa, Palestine or Iraq were stinking shitholes. I used Singapore as an example of a society of many colours, races, and creeds. My point is that to keep order in this type of society you have to have a strong ruling elite. Singapore doesn t have true democracy. It s government leaders are involved in businesses and use their influence as politicians for their own purposes. Singapore doesn t have freedom of speech. Try criticising the government, you ll end up in jail. Singaopre hangs people for possessing drugs. With a government willing to use a heavy hand like that you can get your low crime rate even in a society of many colours, races, and creeds. But I wouldn t aspire to live there let alone raise a family. Perhaps do a stint there to make money but that s about it.

    As for South Africa, Iraq and Palestine, you continue to live your lefty fantasy that these places only have problems because of the West. Whatever works for you. I ll continue to maintain that these places have problems because they are uncivilised, unenlightened, tribal cultures with people who have a dubious propensity to do any better for themselves. Here s one for you though: how do you reckon a society of many colours, races, and creeds would go in Palestine or Iraq? Do you think that type of society is working in South Africa? Oh, yeah, I forgot, if it wasn’t for the eeevil West they d all have found communist utopia by now. Of course.

    And finally, Spanish nationalism.

    I wasn t referring to Franco in particular, I was referring to Spain as having strong nationalist sentiment today. But I think you d find Franco remembered fondly by a large number of Spaniards. I was referring, in part, to Basque and Catalan nationalism as an example of nationalist sentiment in Spain today. Why is this different to what I m talking about? Isn t this an example of a people who want to live independent of other cultures they consider hostile to their own, and having a fairly good case as to why their own culture is civilised and of value, and is deserving to be allowed to stand on it s own? Do you think these cultures should be forced to integrate with the mainstream Spanish and French cultures, even if the people don t want it?

    Oh, and my first comment still stands.

    And my reply still stands. Just like I wouldn t tolerate a Muslim extremist in the society that I want to live in, and that I want to pass on to my children, I m not going to stand by and let you destroy the society that I hold dear, have spent my life building and defending, and that was rightfully passed on to me. So don t feel free to exercise your anarcho/commo/pinko fantasy here. And as per my previous comments I don t think you ll be too welcome in Spain either, despite the fact you seem to feel they re actually with you in your deluded fantasy. If you really want to live a miserable life as a tribal thug then try one of the stinking shitholes I ve previously mentioned. Your beliefs should integrate into everyday life there just fine.

    If you don’t like what @ndy writes, why are you reading this page?

    Came here through following links about the Sydney Forum. Made a comment so came back to follow it up. I enjoy arguing my point and I want to see if other people s views have value. I m confident you guys have nada. Your views will destroy you, and you re not taking me or my kind with you. Adiós.

  6. Funny. You ain’t said a word about the Forum. Did you go, and if so, do you think Jim had any idea he was about to get the arse?

  7. The word is, is that Jim did know before the Sydney Forum of his impending demise. Rumour also has it that Diane “kosher” Teasdale has been offered a run in the up coming federal election in Pauline’s UAP so naturally Teasdale will be eager to fold AFP up, one less competitor.

  8. That would make sense, but she’d better get her skates on if she’s gonna attract enough Senate votes to make some moolah (that is, assuming she does run for the Senate, and not for the local seat).

    As for Jim, do you think he has an eye on another party to take over, or will he be tempted to establish another one of his own, a la National Action? I suppose you could say AF gave him a pretty good run, but frankly I’m surprised he let his mistress skkkrew him over so easily. On the other hand, I get the feeling that, in reality, registration was still several decades away from being realised (as a rule of thumb, the more excited the rhetoric, the less likely its realisation), so assuming he personally has managed to attract some new level of support, support which will transfer with him over to whichever new nationalist project he embarks upon, it’s not a complete loss. Or could it be that he’ll throw in his lot with Welf’s mob?

    Enquiring anarchist minds demand to know!

  9. Members and friends,

    As we have mentioned in recent times, various ‘campaigns’ have been directed against the central management of the Australia First Party. These efforts were intended to destabilise and obstruct the workings of the party. Some confusion was caused overall.

    One result of this effort has been that the national office of the party no longer functions. Various erroneous decisions, the breakdown of legal and administrative structure and political direction occurred. That is to the negative. To the positive, the sections of the party are fully intact and that leading members are resolved that activities will continue and federal registration is acquired. All State / Branch addresses are valid.

    A new management committee for Australia First has been proposed with its chairman outside of New South Wales. We will report on that when a decision is made and the names of provisional officers are available.

    A number of members in our State have pledged sums of money for the registration drive and other activities. The acquisition of certain monies from an Estate (as reported to you) is also imminent which will together, sustain our activities and administration.

    We also ask all members not to comment on these matters outside of the party, especially anywhere on Web Boards and similar outlets. Runours etc serve no one.

    The NSW State Committee is resolved to finalise the party registration in this State (something delayed by a week due to a sole written objection being received to which we were obliged to reply) and do whatever is necessary to move the Australian nationalist cause onwards.

    Australia First nationalism is the only way forward for the cause of ‘White Australia’ and Australian independence. We do not compromise. We do not tire in the service of our cause. Our branch has activities to perform and goals to achieve. Let’s do what we need to do.

    Jim Saleam, Terry Cooksley

    (This statement is also signed by a current candidate for the State Committee; we do not publish the name here because of the impending committee election)

  10. Hey people..

    I represent the layperson – and (I believe), that all people are essentially good and well- intentioned in so far as they are driven by what they hold dear, which is universally the same i.e. love, family and survival of our kind.. an expectation that peace, freedom and justice prevails. When one takes the time to get to know the foreign individual and try to see things from their perspective, one realises that we are all cut from the same cloth irrespective of race, religion or creed.

    There is no place in our modern world for old-world grudges.

    It is inevitable that as the world grows smaller commercially (largely due to technology) that our societies become intergrated.

    Having said this – I too fear that Australia is changing in a way that will forever see an end to the innocence that we have enjoyed for a mere two centuries.

    And as much as I love and embrace (and am proud of), our unique aussie multi-culturalism, I do not condone radical/political/religious radicalism of any kind.

    By no way an idealist, I nonetheless believe that with tolerance, acceptance and an intellecutal view… we can become harmonious.

    I say – get rid of the extremists – their prejudice – their narrow-mindedness – their anger, hatred and poison.

    Wake up and accept that none of us have ownership rights – we are all in this together.

  11. Western Values…

    Western values like invading countries that have never attacked us, or britney spears, or michael jackson or the latest car crash show, or how about jerry springer… my friend “western values” [leave] a lot to be desired, there are literally billions of people in all countries of the world who just want to live their lives in peace. I am white (not that it matters) and I do not give a rats ass who lives next to me, neither should you oh… and white people alone did not build this country… thats an ignorant comment so i forgive you.

  12. western values, what can i say? your [sic] a zionist disguised as an aussie, jews only have loyalty to one country, the zionist controlled land of only jews, anyone that says anything against a jew or israel is automatically labeled an anti-semite, why? just to shut us up.

    FACT: iraq did NOT attack america or australia.
    FACT: AFGHANISTAN did NOT attack nor threaten america or australia.
    FACT: iran is neither threatening anyone who hasn’t threatened it.
    FACT: 9/11 “if” true was attacked by saudi nationals, not iraqi, not afghanistan.
    FACT: 5 jews were caught filming and dancing on a van [after?] the 9/11 bombing, question, they had cameras with them at the ready, how did they know what was going to happen?
    FACT: israels prime minister said “the 9/11 bombing was the best thing to happen”.
    FACT: israel recieves [sic] billions in all sorts of aids, money, armament, u.n [vetoes] etc.
    FACT: israel still to this day illegally occupies land not recognised by any country in the world, even america.
    FACT: 47% of american politicians are jews, while the jewish population is less than 5%.
    FACT: IT WAS ALL THE RACES THAT BUILT AUSTRALIA, NOT JUST WHITE.

    YOUR ARE RACIST “WESTERN VALUES”, the countries you mention were bad before, but once the west got involved with it’s ” war on terror ” things are worse and falling apart, we do not need to side with the american crusaders and make ourselves targets, terrorists only terrorise those who come after them.

    I KNOW WHEN SOMEONE IS TRYING TO DIVIDE OUR BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY WITH YOUR VILE INCITEMENT OF HATRED, GO BACK TO WHERE YOU BELONG.