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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 06:26 am
A press release from the office of Labor MP Michael Danby:
Michael Danby, Federal Member for Melbourne Ports, has condemned anti-Israel polemicist Antony Loewenstein for his attempt to explain the recent anti-Semitic attacks in Melbourne by blaming them on Israel.
Following the anti-Semitic attack on Menachem Vorchheimer in Melbourne last week, Mr Loewenstein was interviewed by the Geelong Advertiser, and suggested that the attack was caused by Israeli actions. “My feeling is that Israeli actions in Israel and Palestine and more recently Lebanon are clearly related to a rise in anti-Semitic attacks,” he said.
“It’s no surprise that Mr Loewenstein, who has made a career of attacking Israel and the Australian Jewish community, should now be found blaming Israel for the actions of anti-Semitic yobbos such as those who attacked Mr Vorchheimer,” Michael Danby said. “This fits in with a pattern of Mr Loewenstein’s behaviour which includes saying about the comedian Sandy Guttman (Austen Tayshus), he said at his website: ‘Jews are often their own worst enemies. It might help if Tayshus didn’t look so much like those awful caricatures we know from the 1930s!’”
“What can we expect from the author of a book which has been praised by the anti-Semites of the Australian League of Rights? It is disgusting that someone who says he is proud to be a Jew should seek to use this attack to further his ideological campaign against Israel.
“The fact is that the people who attacked Mr Vorchheimer did not make any reference to Israel or the Palestinians. They said ‘Go the Nazis’ and made shooting gestures at Mr Vorchheimer and his children. In other words they were straight-out anti-Semites, not people outraged by Israeli actions.”
In his Geelong Advertiser interview, Mr Loewenstein denies that there has been a rise in anti-Semitic attacks. “For the Jewish community to say there’s a wave of anti-Semitism occurring is nonsense, it’s just not true,” Mr Loewenstein said.
Michael Danby pointed out that ECAJ’s figures show a clear rise in anti-Semitic attacks and abuse in Victoria this year.
“There have been five reported attacks on Jews in Caulfield alone this year. In March a 17-year-old boy was beaten up by four men who shouted ‘Fuck off Jews’ and gave Nazi salutes,” Danby said. “I would ask his publisher and chief apologist, Louise Adler of Melbourne University Press, whether she agrees with these comments, and what she will do to rein in Loewenstein’s excuses for violent attacks on Jews.
“One minute Mr Loewenstein says there is no rise in these attacks, which is untrue, and in the next breath he says that there is a rise in attacks, but that this is due to Israel’s actions – which is also untrue,” Danby said. “Mr Loewenstein should make up his mind. He should also stop trying to drag his campaign of denigration against Israel into every issue that comes along. He should join the rest of the Jewish community, and indeed all decent Australians, in condemning anti-Semitism.”
Meanwhile, Loewenstein recently faced a Jew-hating heckler in Adelaide. I blame Loewenstein.
UPDATE. An article by Danby from last week’s Jewish News.