Melbourne-based rabbi subjected to antisemitism

Traumatized, the rabbi reported the incident to the ADC, stating that he never imagined experiencing such hate in Melbourne.

Melbourne, Australia (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Melbourne, Australia
(photo credit: PIXABAY)

A rabbi based in Melbourne was subjected to antisemitic acts at Crown Casino last month, according to Australia's Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC), which also condemned the incident.

According to the report, a stranger walked up to the rabbi and accused him of filming him and his family. While the rabbi said he was only checking messages, the stranger continued to hurl slurs at the rabbi.

"You're one of those [that] Hitler didn't finish," said the man, among many slurs hurled at the rabbi, who chose not to reveal his name for privacy reasons. The rabbi remained calm throughout the entire interaction but was worried that it would have escalated.

Traumatized, the rabbi reported the incident to the ADC, stating that he never imagined experiencing such hate in Melbourne.

ADC Chairman Dr. Dvir Abramovich, stated that "this despicable incident will justifiably send a shockwave throughout our community as antisemitism becomes the new normal in Victoria. No one should have to give up their religion or walk the streets or visit an entertainment venue in fear of being a victim of prejudice-fuelled abuse because of who they are. Sadly, we are going down a path whereby anyone identifiably Jewish will not feel safe outside their home.  We also know that threatening words can turn violent, and such outbursts not only traumatize the victim but shake the affected community and leave them scared and vulnerable.

A view of the Melbourne Docklands and the city skyline from Waterfront City, looking across Victoria Harbour (credit: Wikimedia Commons)A view of the Melbourne Docklands and the city skyline from Waterfront City, looking across Victoria Harbour (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

"This attack is a timely reminder of the upsurge in antisemitism that is plaguing our society and provides further evidence that racists are less inhibited about expressing their disturbing bigotry openly and in public," Abramovich continued.

Last year, the ADC condemned Facebook for selling Nazi-like items, which included a German Tank jacket with the Nazi swastika, and SS symbols, a German uniform, a helmet emblazoned with the Nazi swastika and a Nazi eagle.

The ADC also recently condemned attacks on Jewish graves by Neo-Nazis in a Tasmanian cemetery last month.

Sarah Chemla contributed to this report.