Canberra: Incidents of harassment and intimidation against Jews in Australia increased by 31 percent to 517 between October 1, 2010 and September 30 this year, the Jewish community`s annual report has shown.
The 22nd report of Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council found that there were 17 physical assaults or property damage incidents, 128 direct harassment and intimidation incidents, five threatening phone calls, 301 emails, 48 anti-Jewish graffiti incidents, and 18 other incidents between October 1, 2010 and September 30 this year.
"Put bluntly, in Australia this year, 10 times a week, every week, Jewish Australians were attacked or threatened," The Age quoted the report’s author, Jeremy Jones, as saying.
Jones said anti-Israel incidents and those incidents where motivation was in doubt were excluded from the report.
He said though anti-Jewish violence had little public support, anti-Semitic comments "find comfortable hosts on the online sites of mainstream media outlets, including government-owned".
He called on the country to treat crimes against Jews seriously, since they had adverse effect on the victims and their community.
"It is time mainstream media and others grew up. The online world can no longer be regarded as some sort of alternative reality," Jones said.
"Just as most church groups have managed to psychologically distance themselves from pseudo-Christian racists, mainstream Muslims, leftists, rightists and others need to identify racists as just that — bigots undeserving of a place," he added.