The Divergence of Judaism and Islam. Interdependence, Modernity, and Political Turmoil

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Jews and Muslims “Downunder”: Emerging Dialogue and Challenges · 105

ongoing physical attacks, vandalism, and anti-Jewish, anti-Israel graffiti.
There was a further increase of anti-Semitic attacks in 2007, even though
there was no clear trigger such as the Second Lebanese War. It is unclear
whether this increase was due to extreme right-wing groups, religious
fanaticism from both Christians and Muslims, or extreme left-wing anti-
Zionism, which tends to inflame anti-Semitism.
Whatever the cause, this increased anti-Semitism has placed a huge
security burden on the Jewish community. In 2004, during a parliamen-
tary debate on anti-Semitism, John Brogden, New South Wales Liberal
opposition leader, stated: “On Saturday tens of thousands of Jews across
New South Wales and Australia will attend synagogue. However, unlike
other people involved in religious observance, they will pass security
guards as they walk through the door. Thousands of children attending
Jewish schools in this country will also pass security guards as they walk
in and out of their school gates. Very few, if any, other religious groups
or followers of a faith have security guards at their places of worship.”^28

Fig. 6.2. Increase in anti-Semitic episodes since 1990 (ECAJ,
Report on Anti-Semitism, 2004).

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