Judeophobia, Antisemitism and the Anti-Israel Phenomenon

28 November 2023


It is difficult for the non-Jewish observer and commentator to fully understand how the trauma of the Holocaust and 2,000 years of unrelenting Judeophobia and lethal antisemitism has impacted the 16 million Jewish men, women and children who inhabit our planet in 2023.

It seems to be a difficult concept, and perhaps a little bemusing to those who have no real understanding of the essence and soul of Judaism, to understand the bond and deep spiritual connection that Jewish people have with Israel. The perception that the demonisation of Israel is not considered an antisemitic concept has nevertheless gained currency in the West and has had far-reaching and devasting consequences for Jews around the world.

Israel and Jerusalem are the centres of our faith, culture and heritage. We pray towards Jerusalem and mention it over 800 times in the Torah, where it is not mentioned even once in the Koran. Jews are the indigenous people of the land of Israel, as evidenced by the archaeology, history and genetic evidence, but above all, by the Hope, the Hatikvah, that there is a safe place for Jews to live without fear of racism and persecution.

Throughout our wanderings, the countless pogroms, demonisation and expulsions that we have endured, we have prayed fervently and often despairingly for our return to our spiritual and ancestral home, Israel.

Dangerous Times

Until recently, we have felt safe and accepted in much of Europe, the UK, the United States, Australia, and Canada, but something has changed since October 7, 2023. The smouldering spark of antisemitism is burning hot again, and Jews can perceive that Never Again is now!

We fear that we are being abandoned as we were in 1940s Europe. Is Israel the only nation on earth that must stand down and turn the other cheek in the face of yet another existential threat to our very existence? Are non-Israeli Jews demonised and targeted worldwide because they wear a Star of David, wear a kippah, look different, or support Israel, or is it because we are perceived as “the eternal wandering Jew”? The corollary between anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism is as obvious as is the ancient, offensive, racist trope of the nose on our faces!

Since 7/10/23, politicians, journalists, media commentators, and academics have come to fervently believe that they know what is in the hearts, minds and souls of the Jewish people. They stand as the arbiters of how Israel and the Jewish people must respond and act to the blatant genocidal acts of Hamas at the behest of their masters in terror in Tehran. Yet they remain largely silent on the rapidly growing vile antisemitic acts being inflicted on Jewish people around the world.

This class of political and media elites are quick to give their advice through parliamentary speeches, commentary, articles and media stories as if they have a complete grasp of the historicity and epistemology of war in the Arab-Israel conflict. They also purport to own complete mastery of jus in bello, responsibility to protect, the laws of war concerning self-defence and what constitutes proportionality and distinction, or their unlettered version and interpretations of these norms. Their fleeting shock, abhorrence and condemnation of the atrocity inflicted by Hamas on Oct 7th were, nevertheless, generally punctuated with a resounding and qualified – but!

These buts can range from, but what about the plight of the Palestinians? But Israel isn’t acting with proportionality in Gaza! But what about the two-state solution? But what about apartheid? But aren’t the Jews European colonisers and usurpers of the indigenous Palestinian people?

Notwithstanding the historical, legal, and realpolitik absurdity of these buts, they nevertheless drive the anti-Israel, antisemitic discourse. These buts have become an inverted reality in the minds of those inclined to think the worst of Israel and Jews in general and give aid and agency to the real Jew haters of the far Right, far Left, and all the stops in between.

Corrosive Ideology

The trend of the many so-called progressives in the West to view Zionism as a colonial enterprise of a European transplanted oppressive culture displacing the original Arabs of the land of Palestine is a deeply flawed and dangerous concept. This increasingly misguided and historically inaccurate ideology, along with its fellow travellers, have joined with the ranks of fundamentalist, terror-driven regimes, state and non-state actors and groups.

They either are unwittingly participating in the calls for the destruction of Israel by joining in with the call for “From the River to Sea, Palestine will be free”, or they believe that this is the solution to the plight of the Palestinian people. You don’t have to be Jewish to know what this means for the only democracy in the Middle East!

How did this happen? Why do we see those political parties, news outlets and academic institutions in the West, who champion equal rights for women, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and LGBTIQ+ rights and an end to racism, happily and without conscience or morality join those States and plethora of terror groups in the Middle East and worldwide who violently and ideologically oppose any of these freedoms within in their societies and states?

Why, therefore, is Israel the only nation in the world singled out for unbalanced demonisation and delegitimisation in the United Nations, with more condemnations than North Korea, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Russia, China and every other oppressive terror state combined? Why is the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel, where 20% of the population is Arab, where all religions, races, and sexual orientations have full and equal rights singled out for unhinged criticism, hate and isolation by those who supposedly share the same values?

These are the many questions that seemingly are rhetorical and self-evident, however, there is only one logical and apparent answer as to why we must address these questions. That is, after 2000 years of virulent holy hatred, Judeophobia, genocide, expulsions, blood libels, ghettoisation, rejection, ridicule and demonisation, the world has not been able to cast off the shackles of innate antisemitism.

Little wonder that the Jewish people are distressed, fearful and perplexed as to how those with no understanding, no lived experience or without the inherited trauma of being the most persecuted people in history can say that criticism and demonisation of Israel is not antisemitism – but we Jews know the truth, and this truth shrieks loudly!

The atrocities committed over the centuries against the Jewish people are too numerous to recount. However, this new virtual pogrom from much of the Western media and the extremities of Western politics, particularly from the self-proclaimed progressive left, is particularly difficult to endure.

It is difficult because these institutions are not only pointing an accusing finger at Israel and the Jewish people, but are aiding and abetting the ugly rise of antisemitism in the West and ignorantly giving succour and oxygen to those groups among us who wish to see Jews dead! This time, however, we Jews are awake to where this scourge can lead, because we have been there many times.

So, forgive us if this time we fight back with all our strength and all our might because, for the thousandth time, we are in the fight for our life. We will again survive, flourish, contribute to the collective knowledge of the world and be a light unto the nations, even without your consent and approval.

Not since the Holocaust have the Jewish people felt so abandoned and under such threat, so we ask for your support. If for no other reason than to give us some kind of hope that some people care whether we Jews can live in a world without continually having to look over our shoulders at the dark shadow of antisemitism.

Am Yisroel Chai! – The Jewish People Live!


For my parents Herman and Rebecca Lissing, who survived Auschwitz, and for the 82 members of our family who didn’t.


Photo: Muhammad Mahdi Karim/Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Countess Antonia Maria Violetta Scrivanich 28 November 2023 at 9:42 am - Reply

    Shame , shame Australia for its anti-semitism ! Cancel Moslem trouble-makers’ passports and deport them. Record the names of those who chant “From the river to the sea “. Sack all school teachers who wear at school clothing advertising “Pro Palestine “, etc, or engage in pro-Hamas marches during school days and who incite children to ” wag “school to take part. Defund universities, get rid of academics who promote anti-semitism. Teach Western Culture in schools and universities. Purge the ABC and SBS of journalists’ bias. These trouble-makers /terrorists don’t belong here . Jerusalem was historically and always should be the capital of Israel. Moslems have no historic right to it or “Palestine”.

  2. Barbara Bluett 28 November 2023 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    It is very grievous what the Jews are once again suffering. You are such a blessing to the nations. I stand with Israel.

  3. C. Paul Barreira 28 November 2023 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    This and the piece above by Andrew Roberts point to a gross dereliction of their moral duty by the churches in Australia (and there are few enough exceptions offshore but at least they exist). Either churches have remained silent (in part at least with a view to their adherents not knowing of the existence of Israel) or they have with disingenuity connived to support Hamas; certainly not Israel. I think there may be four main reasons for this.

    The first is boredom. Dean Inge wrote in 1948: ‘The effect of boredom on a large scale in history is underestimated’. And while it’s also difficult to measure the point is a good one.

    Second, and more clearly to the point, comes pacifism, which, in Australian churches, has probably evolved from the 1930s. It was very clear by the 1990s. Indeed, from that time if not already by 1970, pacifism has provided the ground for all else. It is the first principle. Pacifism has the further effect, not necessarily by definition, of making the churches curiously passive, at least in their language (although the Anglican Primate’s language of 19 October remains a libel). Thought need not apply; nor does it.

    Thirdly, the churches, in particular Catholic, Anglican and especially UCA, are in thrall to current intellectual fads such as anti-colonialism. Hence ‘decolonisation’ permeates statements, lurking in terms such ‘peace’ and ‘justice’.

    Finally, the churches, and this seems without exception and building upon the other factors, are intellectually indolent and ethically challenged. In that sense they are institutions of prejudice.

  4. Trina Watson 29 November 2023 at 10:07 am - Reply

    I thank God for Israel , because God created this Nation to bring forth our Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, the Saviour of the world, Therein we see the reason for the rabid antisemitism in the world, because satan will use anyone and anything , including in some instances, the Church, to try to destroy the Nation that brought forth the Messiah, and to where He will return,
    when Jesus will stand upon the Temple Mount! Satan knows his days are numbered and he will do everything in his power to destroy Gods people, including Israel and the Church! God bless Israel!

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