A subtle form of anti-Semitism in Australia


Many Australians consider anti-Semitism, or hatred for Jews, to be a cloud that rarely casts a shadow over our landscape. And we can thank the rare occurrence of attacks on synagogues, assaults on Jews, or destroyed Jewish graveyards in this country. But anti-Semitic ghosts are still creeping into the land.

Physical assaults and verbal slurs still occur here, but Australian anti-Semitism takes on increasingly subtle and subtle forms that can easily be overlooked. And that’s not surprising. Anti-Semitism, a long part of human history, has never taken one form. It manifests itself in different forms, different mutations, and different motives.

Even asserting the opinions of Jewish scholars can be anti-Semitic. It sounds esoteric, but Joel Katzav, a lecturer at the University of Queensland (UQ), recently filed a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission regarding the university’s handling of alleged anti-semitic cases, including his criticism by students. ..

According to the complaint, Katsav chaired the committee asking graduate students to revise some of the treatises dealing with the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. This offended students who claimed why Katsov was dismissed more favorably or “tried to whiten”. Nietzsche was because he, Katsaf, was Jewish.

Nietzsche died in 1900 at the age of 55 after the complete collapse of his mental and physical health, leaving many unsolved puzzles in his work.

Epoch Times Photo
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. (Public domain)

Subsequent generations often appealed to Nietzsche in support of their own views, despite scholars’ fierce opposition to what Nietzsche actually said, especially during the decline.

Some say Nietzsche opposed anti-Semitism. Others say he laid the foundation for the Nazist idealism. Especially in the concept of “Superman” used by the Nazis to give credibility to the idea of ​​racial superiority.

Students insisted that Nietzsche was actually “whitewashed” to protect him because Nietzsche is now popular in Israel.

However, despite strong support for Nietzsche’s Zionism in the early days of Israel, there is little evidence that Nietzsche is popular in Israel today. Also, it is not entirely clear that the Israelites are actually using the philosopher’s argument to promote the idea of ​​Jewish racial superiority.

On the surface, the brim between Katsov and his students looks like a simple disagreement complicated by the student’s frustration with the Commission’s decision.

But to understand how the allegations of anti-Semitism arose from this scholarly fragment, we need to look underwater.

In 2016, a new definition of “anti-Semitism” was created by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). It states that anti-Semitism is a “specific perception of the Jews” that can show signs of “rhetorical”.

In other words, anti-Semitism is not just physical or verbal assault on Jews. This can include claims aimed at outlawing Israel, rather than merely criticizing the current policies of the Israeli government. It can also include claims about opinions and beliefs given to Jews such as Katsov, as in the case of UQ.

Armed with the anti-Semitic IHRA definition adopted in Australia in October 2021, German philosophers in the 19th century thought of their philosophers. Assumption Being popular in Israel (because it teaches about racial superiority).

Epoch Times Photo
Parish residents will be welcomed back to St Kilda Sur in Melbourne, Australia on June 7, 2020. (Daniel Pocket / Getty Images)

Katzov opposed the student’s remarks and complained about how UQ handled the case.

However, Jewish groups such as the Queensland Jewish Deputy Commission (QJBD) have stated that this type of anti-Semitic behavior is not an isolated case.

Although rare, physical attacks on Jews and Jewish property are still occurring. But intellectual forms of anti-Semitism are just as dangerous.

The move to “decolonize” the curriculum, in other words, to condemn racism and all forms of imperialism and colonialism, is fueling campaigns against Israel, especially on university campuses.

According to QJBD, this type of anti-Semitic behavior, especially with Jewish-leveled accusations of Israeli government behavior, is increasing at Australian universities.

QJBD is currently requiring all Australian universities to adopt the anti-Semitic IHRA definition. This is a move endorsed by former Minister of Education Alan Tudge.

Katzov’s complaint sounds like a warning that all Australians need to pay attention. Our university plays an important role in arranging students to be responsible citizens in our successful multicultural society. Each of us needs to ensure that our commitment to human dignity remains free from any form of anti-Semitic pollution.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Peter Culti


Peter Kurti is Director of the Cultural, Prosperity and Civil Society Program at the Independent Research Center in Sydney, Australia. He is also an Associate Professor at Notre Dame University in Australia and has written extensively on religious, liberal and civil society issues.