Anti-Jewish incidents in Australia continue to rise in 2022

Source of image: Julie Nathan

Each year, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ), the peak national body representing Australia’s Jewish community, produces a Report on Antisemitism in Australia.  I have compiled and authored the reports since 2013, when I took over the task from Jeremy Jones, who had been producing the reports since 1989.

A major section of the report is dedicated to antisemitic incidents. These include physical assault, vandalism, direct abuse, abusive messages, graffiti, and posters/stickers.

During the 12 months to 30 September 2022, there were 478 antisemitic incidents logged by the ECAJ. This was an increase of 6.9% in the overall number of reported antisemitic incidents in Australia compared to the previous year. The average number of reported antisemitic incidents each year from 2013 to 2021 was 298. As such, the number of reported incidents in 2022 is above that average by 180 incidents.

Overall, from 2021 to 2022, there were substantial increases in the number of reported incidents in two categories: posters/stickers (up 70% from 72 to 123) and graffiti (up 18% from 106 to 125). There were decreases in three categories: physical assault (down from 8 to 5), direct abuse (down from 147 to 138), and messages (down from 103 to 76). Vandalism remained the same at 11.

The huge 70% increase in incidents in the poster/sticker category had two contributing factors. Firstly, the COVID regulations produced mass street protests, particularly in Victoria, and the antisemitic conspiracy theories associated with the anti-vaxxer, anti-lockdown camp, resulted in antisemitic placards at protests and antisemitic stickers on streets. Secondly, there was an increase in neo-Nazi activity, with Nazis putting up antisemitic propaganda material in the form of posters, stickers and the like.


To understand what antisemitism looks and feels like, we need to go beyond the numbers and statistics. The following is a compilation of some of the antisemitic incidents that occurred in the 12 months to 30 September 2022 in Australia.

Incidents of physical assault occurred, with several causing serious injury, as in the following three examples.

  • A Jewish man was physically assaulted (multiple punches, multiple kicks, bitten on the hand causing the removal of flesh, dislocated finger), while being harassed with anti-Jewish verbal abuse, and was taken to hospital for the injuries he sustained.
  • A group of Orthodox Jewish males were verbally abused and physically assaulted – they had their religious head coverings forcibly removed from their heads, and were taunted by the assailants who refused requests to return the head coverings; the Jewish males were pushed and physically harassed and called “Zionist dogs”; and were subjected to shouted insults of “Fuck you, you Jew dogs, fuck your mums, you fucking rats, fuck you, get out of here“.
  • A man approached a Jewish male wearing a religious head covering, outside a store, refused to allow him to pass and attempted to remove his head covering. Another Jewish man then attempted to intervene and help, leading to the assailant physically assaulting the second Jewish man, who sustained bodily injuries of bruising and lacerations.

Vandalism has often consisted of etching Nazi swastikas onto buildings and property. In 2022, a Nazi swastika was carved into a timber sign at the Harry Seidler Reserve (named after the prominent architect, who was Jewish). Other incidents of vandalism included a series of ongoing attacks on a Jewish community soup kitchen, including: slashing of the tyres of the charity’s van three times, the van’s side mirrors snapped off, the trailer stolen and dumped. In another incident, a cross was etched into the door of a home with a Jewish resident. The door post had a mezuzah on it, identifying the resident as Jewish.

Abuse, harassment and intimidation of Jews is the category which usually has the highest number of incidents each year. There were 138 incidents in this category recorded in the 2022 reporting period, comprising 29% of all incidents. The most common verbal expressions were “Fucking Jews”; “Fuck the Jews”; “Fuck you Jews!”;”You fucking Jew”; “Fuck off Jew!”; “Filthy Jew”; “Jewish dogs”; “Allahu Akbar’’; and “Heil Hitler”. Also common were three hand gestures: simulating the discharge of a firearm towards people, sometimes with the exclamation “Bang!”; the Nazi salute; and raising the middle finger in a fist, as an act of contempt.

Verbal threats of violence directed towards Jews included: “All Jews should go to the gas chamber”; “You can all die!”; “Every Jew must be killed … I am going to cut your fucking heads off, you cunts”; “The Jews killed Jesus … I will nail your hands to crucifixes”, “I’m going to chop you up … I’ll put a bullet in you”; “We will kill the fucking Jews!“; and “Shoot the Jew! Shoot the Jew!”

Words of abuse, harassment and intimidation directed at Jews included references to the Holocaust: “Jews are killers and Nazis”; “You’re one of those that Hitler didn’t finish”; “Go gas yourselves”; “Hitler should have finished you. You belong in the gas chambers”; “Hitler’s coming back!”; and “We love Hitler”.

 Messages of hate occurred via emails, letterbox, and telephone. There were 76 incidents of hate messages recorded in the 2022 reporting period, comprising 16% of all incidents.

Emails can provide more detailed information on how others view Jews. Hate emails are not general circulars but rather are sent to Jewish individuals, Jewish organisations and Jewish community media.

Text within emails included: “The end is almost here for Jews. THE GOY AWAKES!!”; “The end of the jew is coming”; “You heap of human JEW TRASH!!!!!”; “Jewish bankers (western) who financed both Lenin and Trotsky”; “Go fuck yourself… you dirty jew rat…”; “EVERYONE knows its you fake jew pigs laughably trying your best at destroying humanity and OUR divine mother earth”; and “goyim are waking up to the subhuman parasite Jews. … I despise jews they stink , they are ugly , they are criminal scum, and yes subhuman and parasitic … they are lower than animals, excrement of animals.”

References to Nazism in emails were common, including: “Hitler was right! look what Jews have done to this world. You are all disgusting cretins”; “THE GESTAPO IS COMING”; “What a bloody disgrace you Jewish Terrorists are. … Six million killed, what bullshit”; “The usual Jewish scum!!!!!!!! Make NAZIS look like Sunday School Teachers!!!!!”; and “you Jewish vermin, pig, leech and scum of the earth. …The Holohoax was not about race it was about exterminating rats like you that hide in the sewers and bring their disease and dirty blood to infect us. … The only place you belong is in a gas chamber. This is the land of the white man, and we are sick of animals like you controlling the media, banks, schools and government.”

Postal mail, delivered to, or placed in the letterboxes of, homes, organisations and businesses of Jews was another means to express hatred and to intimidate Jews. An example included mail with the messages of: “YOU BLOODY PARASITE$” and “STOP INSULTING THE GERMAN NATIONS. YOU PARASITES”.

Telephone, both calls and texts, is another means to convey threats against Jews, usually to Jewish community organisations and facilities. These incidents included a series of phone calls in which the caller verbally abused staff at a Jewish school and threatened to “drive by and shoot up the place”. Other calls included: “The gas chambers are coming for you long nosed people”; “Now the whole worlds going to come round to the Jewish fucking people and treat them like dogs”; “Jewish scumbag, … you are true fucking cunts … you fucking Jewish scumbag motherfucker … You motherfucking cocksuckers!”; “You’re the new Nazis. … Fuck you you Jewish scumbag motherfuckers. … You are the scum shit of earth”; “now the Jewish people have become the new Nazis … You’re the scum of the earth, and now the whole world’s cottoning on”; “Organised Jewry, a satanic paedophile cult, with a proven doctrine of human blood cult… kabbalah is your deep-rooted love of satan demon worship. … Go fuck yourself!”; and a text message of “You are a greedy jew and I fucken hate jews … You seriously need gassing”.

Graffiti often occurs at or near Jewish communal facilities or in areas where a large percentage of residents are Jews. There were 125 incidents of graffiti recorded in the 2022 reporting period, comprising 26% of all incidents. A large number of graffiti examples consisted of Nazi swastikas, often alongside overtly anti-Jewish text, as well as graffiti of “Fuck Jews” and multiple graffiti of “Kill the Jews”.

Incidents of Nazi-related graffiti included: “6MNE” (6 Million Not Enough); “ADOLF HITLER WAS RIGHT”; a Nazi swastika and the words “were [sic] back!”; “THE HOLOCAUST IS A LIE”; “TGSNT. [TGSNT = The Greatest Story Never Told – a pro-Hitler/Nazi propaganda film.] Natsoc. Fuck Jews. The jews own us all”; “WE ARE EVERYWHERE”; “HEIL HITLER”, “3RD REICH” and “1488”. Other graffiti included: “FUCK NIGGERS. FUCK CHINA. KILL JEWS”; “Jewish ppl $uck”; “Dirty Jew”; “JEWS DID 9/11”; “STOP THE JEWS”; “KIKE”; “$ ZION GRABS ALL”; “FUCK ZIONISM”; and “COVID IS JEWISH”.

Posters/stickers is the sixth, and final, category of incidents. This category is composed of propaganda material and includes: banners, clothing, flags, flyers, leaflets, placards, posters, and stickers. There were 123 incidents in this category recorded in the 2022 reporting period, comprising 26% of all incidents.

A Nazi swastika flag was flown outside a building overlooking a synagogue; a man wore a t-shirt with an image printed on it composed of a rat and a Jewish Star of David and the words “The Real Plague”; another person wore a t-shirt with a Nazi swastika on the sleeve; another t-shirt worn had the words “Naming is half the battle” (this meme claims that one cannot “name the Jew” as being behind all the problems of the world). A banner composed of “Belial Bzar”, a Star of David and “Demon Flesh” was held by neo-Nazis at a protest; and a banner with the Star of David crossed out was held at an anti-Israel protest.

Flyers of a handwritten letter composed of “Be very sceptical of Covid, known to some as the “Jew Flu”. … Jews use psychological warfare on the population with the government and the system being used for thier [sic] agendas. Covid (Jew Flu) is all about spreading fear whilst obtaining more power and control over the population. Avoid media as it all works to push the Jew agendas.” There were leaflets on Holocaust denial titled “Holocaust Facts” listing some Holocaust denial websites.

Placards at anti-Covid regulation protests included multiple versions of “Qui??” (a meme referring to Jews), some with images of a stereotypical Jew; “911 QUI”; “911 Missing Links”; “Vax the FEW” (rhymes with ‘Jew’); “They Know. 12H Qui News. Shut it Down” with an image of a stereotypical Jew; and “Europa the Last Battle. Hellstorm. T.G.S.N.T. Goyim.TV TV. 911 Missing”. An anti-Israel placard of “Boycott Apartheid Israel” replaced the letter ‘S’ in ‘Israel’ with a Nazi swastika.

Posters composed of “Australia Awaken” and a Nazi swastika and composed of “Every Aspect of Scott Morrison’s Cabinet is Jewish” were attached to a pole outside a synagogue. Posters produced by ‘GoyimTV’ titled “Every Single Aspect of the Covid Agenda is Jewish” and listing various prominent American people who are Jewish, blaming Jews for the COVID-19 pandemic, were taped outside the office of a Jewish MP and on multiple synagogues. Elsewhere, posters of “We Are Everywhere!!” with a Nazi swastika were plastered.

Stickers were often composed of text and images. Examples included: a rat with the Star of David; the word “Jews” with image of a Jew as a shark; and “Break Jewish Debt Slavery”. Many stickers were placed on synagogues, including: “FCK JWS“; Nazi swastikas; a Star of David with the text “Ban This Instead”; a rat with a Star of David on it and the name of a Jewish MP. Stickers composed of two yellow Stars of David with the word “Jude” (Jew) inside were placed on election posters of a candidate who is Jewish.

Dozens of stickers of a black Nazi swastika were plastered on several Jewish venues, on poles, bus stops, and on multiple buildings, in the Caulfield area of Melbourne. Anti-Israel stickers targeting Jews included a sticker of “BOYCOTT ISRAELI APARTHEID” placed at the gate of a Jewish school and a “Free Palestine” sticker placed in the Kosher section of a supermarket.


The number, variety and intensity of anti-Jewish incidents is of great concern. Even more disconcerting is the amount of murderous and genocidal content that is often expressed. Overall, 45% of incidents were abuse, either directly or via messages, targeting Jews; while 52% of incidents were propaganda material, either graffiti or posters/stickers etc, vilifying Jews.

For those harassing and attacking Jews, often it is not enough to express contempt and disdain – too often they express regret that Hitler did not murder all Jews, and the hope that Jews will again be murdered en masse in the near future. The large proportion of propaganda material produced and placed in the public view has often been a precursor to more serious attacks on Jews – propaganda acts as a first step in denigrating, demonising, and dehumanising Jews which can lead to physical assault and murder.

To counter antisemitism, Australian leaders and other people of influence need to be aware of the high level of antisemitic incidents occurring across Australia, to understand what antisemitism is and how it manifests, and to take effective action to condemn and outlaw not just vilification but any advocacy of violence based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, and other attributes.

ECAJ Report on Antisemitism in Australia 2022

About the Author
Julie Nathan is the Research Director at the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the peak representative body of the Australian Jewish community, and is the author of the annual ECAJ Report on Antisemitism in Australia.
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