CONGREGANTS leaving Brisbane’s Margaret Street Synagogue on Friday night were reportedly assaulted with punches, spitting and screaming of antisemitic jibes.
Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies vice-president Jason Steinberg described the alleged attacks as “disgusting and very concerning”.
Steinberg said, “Nazi salutes, spitting, screaming antisemitic slogans and punching – this is not the behaviour anyone expects to witness on the streets of Brisbane.
“The Community Security Group did a great job and the Queensland Police acted very swiftly.
“We want Queensland to be a harmonious place where people of all cultures, languages and faiths feel a strong sense of belonging. A rise in antisemitism is a vile threat against this aspiration. All Queenslanders should watch closely for signs within our society that threaten the inclusive communities we all want to live in,” he said.
An individual has been arrested and bailed in relation to the incident.
In a separate incident, a string of racist, antisemitic emails and a photo of a swastika emblem sent to the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) have been brought to the attention of Queensland Police.
The five emails were purportedly written by a man in Queensland. The first, dated February 7, stated, “i fly the nazi flag in my backyard. i also have it on my back window on the car. adolf hitler is outright great leader and i agree with his views.”
A later email stated that “we need a white policy reinstated in australia. only accept people from english backgrounds. everyone else needs to be ethinacly [sic] cleansed. muslims, indians, wogs, and japanese need to be put in a human oven and extract human oil to power air cooled engines. i dont like israel. and i cant stand monkeys from the tribes.” Another email stated, “but of course i cant do anything. I dont have a position of power”.
However, when contacted by The AJN, the individual holding the email address from which the abhorrent notes were sent, claimed he had been hacked and was not their author.
ADC chair Dvir Abramovich said, “Words alone won’t defeat this pure hate, and perhaps it is time to create a federal task force to fight this domestic terrorist threat before it gets worse.”
The AJN understands that Queensland Police’s Security and Counter-Terrorism Command has been briefed by the Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies about the emails. At the time of going to press, Queensland Police had not responded to a request by The AJN for a comment.