Australian leaders this week warned of the growing spectre of antisemitism Down Under with a neo-Nazi rally bringing ‘Heil Hitler’ salutes to a park near Melbourne.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said: “We’ve seen antisemitic acts on the rise against kids in schools including, tragically, kids as young as five.
“We’ve seen swastikas daubed across businesses that happen to be owned by Jews or Jewish sites, or indeed on material for a theatre production of Anne Frank, of all things.”
Speaking on Holocaust Memorial Day, he added: “I’m afraid there is a rise in historical revisionism… We need to promote tolerance and diversity and take on hate wherever we see it.”
It comes as Victorian premier Daniel Andrews denounced “bigotry and hatred” after a meeting of neo-Nazis in the Australian state’s Grampians national park on Saturday.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, dozens of far-right extremists convened over the Australia Day weekend, chanting white supremacist slogans, making Nazi salutes, and wearing army fatigues.
“There is no place for that sort of bigotry and hatred,” he said. “The international evidence is very clear, and indeed the local evidence, that antisemitism is on the rise. It’s an evil thing, a wicked thing.”
He added: “To the Jewish community across Victoria, you have made – and you continue to make – a profound contribution to our state.”
Victoria Police said it would not “comment specifically on the ongoing activities of far-right groups, except to say that we closely monitor a range of groups to ensure there is no threat to public safety”.
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