Antisemitic hate by the numbers

There were 343 antisemitic incidents reported to CSG in 2018.

MORE than twice as many antisemitic incidents were reported in NSW than Victoria in 2018, according to a new Community Security Group (CSG) analysis.

The CSG document was compiled using data from incidents directly reported to the group’s state-based subsidiaries across Australia.

In all, CSG recorded 343 antisemitic incidents in Australia over the course of the year, including one act of extreme violence, a stabbing in Melbourne’s Caulfield North during Shavuot last year.

There were also seven assaults reported, 290 incidents of abusive behaviour, 21 cases of damage and desecration, 14 threats, and 10 instances of antisemitic literature being distributed.

Geographically, 216 incidents were reported in NSW, 90 in Victoria, 16 in Queensland, 12 in the ACT, six in Western Australia and three in South Australia.

Ninety-six of the incidents reported took place at synagogues, 86 in public places, 54 at Jewish organisations, 49 at private properties, 26 at Jewish schools and 18 at Jewish homes, businesses or properties.

Four of the seven assaults targeted Jewish people walking to or from synagogue. The reported assaults included physical violence, projectiles including eggs and bottles being thrown and identifiably Jewish people being chased on foot and by vehicle. 

Verbal abuse was the most common example of abusive behaviour with 92 incidents reported, followed by 56 incidents of antisemitic graffiti on non-Jewish property – equating to one incident per week – 38 reported incidents of abuse over social media, 24 antisemitic gestures and 23 antisemitic emails. 

Other incidents included antisemitic telephone calls, stickering, postering, web inquiries and letters.

There was also one act of arson and 11 incidences of vandalism reported, including rocks
and metal bars being thrown through windows of preschools and schools, as well as damage to synagogues.

Of the 14 threats reported, one involved a hoax improvised explosive device (IED) being left at the back door of a synagogue in Sydney. Meanwhile, a rabbi and a prominent Jewish identity in Perth received threatening letters with a bullet and neo-Nazi material enclosed.

Police were notified about 217 of the incidents with five offenders in NSW being charged.

The CSG document relates only to security-related incidents reported to the group. It differs from the Executive Council of Australian Jewry’s annual antisemitism report, which is a comprehensive report of antisemitic incidents and public antisemitic discourse in Australia.