Australian Jewish Association

Why AJA?

The Australian Jewish Association (AJA) was created to fill a void and provide a strong, principled voice for the Jewish community in Australia.

Why AJA

To be guided by authentic Jewish values means having regard in policy formulation to principles of Torah. This imposes no requirement on how members conduct their lives. The organisation will welcome members of all levels of observance.
Who would have guessed that AJA would be such a phenomenal success and important voice in Australian politics over such a short time. The reduction in Australian payments to UNRWA is one such victory.

Rowan Dean

I am a huge admirer of the AJA and I follow your work closely.

Col Richard Kemp

AJA is a really important development in Jewish community advocacy.

Senator James Patterson

Thank you for what the AJA does for Australia.

John Roskam

I love the AJA

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Jewish Australians are voting with their ‘clicks’. In just a few short years, AJA has grown to be the largest Australian Jewish organisation on social media.

We are

making a difference

Speakers

Our weekly Zoom Speaker Series takes place each Wednesday at 8pm (Sydney/Melbourne time).

High level international & local speakers explore the major issues for the Jewish community, Israel, & Australia.

Past episodes are available to watch on our YouTube Channel. Click subscribe to never miss an AJA video.

Special Event

Special Event

News

Events

Social Media Feed

Facebook

Australian Jewish Association - AJA
Australian Jewish Association – AJA2 hours ago
PAUL KELLY EDITOR-AT-LARGE

This is Australia today – a major ethical issue has arisen because a Nationals senator, Perin Davey, had two glasses of wine in Parliament House while across the nation a tide of anti-Semitism has relentlessly gathered pace threatening Jewish individuals, families and businesses.

It is a bizarre juxtaposition for a nation that no longer comprehends what is happening to itself. It talks endlessly about integrity without confronting the racism and prejudice on daily display.

The Labor Party that boasts about its morality is in denial about the global wave of anti-Semitism and its penetration into Australian society.

Anthony Albanese’s response is totally reactive. He seems to see anti-Semitism as an electoral problem to be managed, not as a social evil to be addressed with practical and moral leadership. His pledge last November that as Prime Minister he would not let anti-Semitism “find so much as a foothold” in Australia is a hollow declaration. That foothold was occupied months ago and anti-Semitic infiltration is now widespread.

Labor seems to function in a bubble of unreality, as though a few statements condemning anti-Semitism will do the job until the eruption fades away. This is nonsense; we are not dealing with a transitory event. The longer Labor covers its eyes, the more it will stand condemned.

Labor was quick, proactive and morally superior in the 1990s at the danger posed by Pauline Hanson but now, facing a more insidious and dangerous malignancy, the Labor Party, in office with governing responsibility, looks reluctant and weak, just going through the motions.

Anthony Albanese’s response is totally reactive. He seems to see anti-Semitism as an electoral problem to be managed

It is obvious that October 7 had a double significance – it turned Israel into a state determined to purge Hamas and confront the Iranian proxies that threaten its existence, and it unleashed in Western democracies a pent-up outbreak of anti-Semitism with deep roots that suggest it will become an enduring phenomenon until met with an effective political and psychological response.

As Liberal MP Julian Leeser said: “Hamas didn’t just seek to brutalise Israel. They sought to unleash anti-Semitism across the world and, sadly, they have.” Australia is changing as a society – a change that has shocked many people with an even stronger reaction in the US and Britain. There were currents at work in our society that we just missed. After October 7, it took a while to grasp: this crisis wasn’t just about Israel, it was about us; it was about who we were and are.

The first sign was the almost instantaneous reaction, the pro-Palestinian march in Sydney from Town Hall to the Opera House on October 9 and the anti-Semitic chants. Yet the bigger story quickly unfolded – this was a far broader movement with deep cultural roots.

In the following weeks hostility towards Israel took off – in universities, in schools, in the unions, notably the teacher unions, in the media, in the ABC, across much of the cultural sector, among actors, artists and writers and, above all, in the Greens political party that draws support from about 12 per cent of voters and conspicuously from higher educated influencers and social media activists.

This didn’t happen by accident. It reflected a long-cultivated sentiment in the progressive left, a political and moral movement, where hostility towards Israel has grown into an article of faith. Israel’s retaliation after October 7 became the political release valve.

On display is another phenomenon – the growing fusion between hostility to Zionism and anti-Semitism. The most obvious of many signs is the slogan “From the river to the sea Palestine will be free.” This opposes both the Jewish state and the Jewish people. As Liberal senator Dave Sharma says, this seeks the eradication of the state of Israel and is pure Hamas terrorist group language, often uttered by people who know nothing of the river or the sea.

Israel, having been denounced as an “apartheid state”, is now denounced as a “genocidal state” – the purpose being to deny Israel’s legitimacy and extol the moral worth of its opponents. There is almost a moral fervour at the attacks on Jewish businesses, on Jewish students at universities, stigmatising Jewish children and holding Jewish people to account for what Israel does.

The Zionist/anti-Semitism coupling is guaranteed to intensify with the right-wing Netanyahu government formally rejecting a two-state solution, pursuing its military campaign against Hamas and certain to face greater condemnation from an agitated UN. Israel is set to become even more unpopular in the Western media.

Even worse is coming.

Visiting Australia this week, The Times of Israel political correspondent Haviv Rettig Gur said the real wake-up call for Israel was realising Hamas built nothing for 17 years apart from “transforming Gaza into the battlefield for the war they intended to fight” and Israel now understood it was “at war with all the proxies that Iran had built”. And that means Hezbollah.

The Middle East conflict will only intensify and that will deepen political conflict over Jews and Israel in nations such as Australia. Progressive-left identity politics ideology will blend effortlessly into the anger at Israel’s military tactics. In American universities slogans such as “Zionism = Genocide” are proliferating.

Writing in The Atlantic, author Dara Horn, who served on former Harvard president Claudine Gay’s anti-Semitism advisory committee, captured the historical fabrications of the movement: “These lies range in scope from the conspiracy theories to Holocaust denial to the blood libel to the currently popular claims that Zionism is racism, that Jews are settler colonialists and that Jewish civilisation isn’t indigenous to the land of Israel. These lies are all part of the foundational big lie: that anti-Semitism itself is a righteous act of resistance against evil, because Jews are collectively evil and have no right to exist. Today, the big lie is winning.”

This battle goes beyond ideas – to morality, humanity and the ethical society. What role is the great Australian Labor Party playing? Sadly, it has virtually no role. It pretends being low key is the answer. It is largely missing in action. Perhaps it has market research saying the public isn’t worried about anti-Semitism or that Jews are only a tiny portion of the population – if so, this is about as dumb as the market research once suggesting the voice would be carried.

Albanese has periodically and firmly denounced anti-Semitism, and Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has announced the government will legislate against doxxing, the malicious release of personal information, following the publication of details about 600 Jewish creative individuals.

Many critics of Israel point out that criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic. That’s right. The truth, however, is that much criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic and that it is increasing – witness the comments from NSW Greens MP Jenny Leong, who said “the Jewish lobby and the Zionist lobby are infiltrating into every single aspect of what is ethnic community groups” with their “tentacles”.

Federal Labor Jewish MP Josh Burns called this “one of the most blatantly racist and bigoted statements by any elected official in Australia”. He said “not one Greens MPs, state or federal, has called out” the bigotry. Leong did apologise and the Greens cleaned up. But Leeser’s comment remains valid: “Anti-Semitism is now a full-blown feature of the extremist-Greens political ideology.”

Last weekend about 10,000 people gathered in Sydney’s Domain, a rally from the Jewish and Christian communities, in solidarity against anti-Semitism and in recognition the stronger this malicious movement gets, the wider its net of targets will spread.

Labor should understand one thing – it has essentially left the Jewish community in Australia without cover during the most damaging and sustained outbreak of anti-Semitism since World War II, an outbreak only getting worse.

That’s how the community feels and that’s exactly how it looks. This is not the action of a responsible, moral or multicultural-believing government.

Instagram

4 hours ago