Media Statements

Statement - Labor must support inquiry into antisemitism in Victoria

Statement – Labor must explain abandoned 80,000 new homes a year promise

James Newbury, Shadow Minister for Equality

19 May 2024.

The Liberals and Nationals will seek to establish a Parliamentary Inquiry into the increasing level of antisemitism in Victoria.

Antisemitism has reached a point where the time for listening is over and the time for action is here and the Liberals and Nationals have proposed an immediate inquiry on the impact on social cohesion of deep antisemitism.

The reference will be made to the Legislative Assembly Legal and Social Issues Standing Committee, and will require the committee to consider a range of issues including:

  • The State Government accepting 34 recommendations to strengthen anti‑vilification laws three years ago, yet so far implementing only one of the recommendations.
  • Victoria Police findings that out of the 197 alleged criminal incidents relating to the Middle East conflict since 7 October, 44.7 per cent related to antisemitic incidents, and of the 47.2 per cent where a direct motive was not clear, 93.5 per cent were politically motivated by opposition to Israel’s Gaza policy.
  • Recent Community Security Group findings, through the Jewish Community Incident Reporting on University Campuses, that 50 antisemitic or anti-Israel incidents are now occurring on campuses each week, up from 11 over the entire year of 2023.
  • The need for greater legal protections against doxing of Jews, following the social media profiles, pictures, and occupations of 600 Jewish-Australians being shared online.
  • The ongoing incitement of violence and hatred towards the Jewish people, including the recent public graffiti on a Jewish school despicably stating ‘Jew Die’.
  • The need for stronger move-on laws, which Labor stripped away in 2015, to enable police to keep the peace and protect faith communities and others across our community from harassment.
  • And, the behaviour of taxpayer funded Victorian Government staff.

Shadow Minister for Equality, James Newbury, said “Premier Jacinta Allan needs to show leadership and allow an inquiry into the alarming and increasingly violent increase of antisemitism in Victoria.

“The safety and equal treatment of the Jewish community should be an issue which unites the Parliament, however so far, we’ve seen qualified statements from the Allan Labor Government and an inability to call out antisemitism without false equivalents.”

James Newbury, Shadow Minister for Equality