Max Brenner chocolate shops in Melbourne and Sydney have recently been the target of aggressive protests. The protests were part of the Boycotts, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. The protest in Melbourne was a violent demonstration – Victorian Police suffered three injuries and 19 protesters were arrested. Demonstrators called for the destruction of Israel and chanted: “From the river to the sea/Palestine will be free.”
Gerard Henderson in his article “Jews know acceptance still has its exceptions” commented on the current double standards towards Jews and Catholics in Australia.
“Today Australia is an accepting society which formally outlaws discrimination on the basis of race or gender and disapproves of intolerance towards minorities. Except, it seems, Jews and Catholics.”
Henderson notes that only the Herald Sun and the Australian Jewish News reported the Max Brenner protests and he condemns the Age and the ABC for failing to do so.
He writes that the lack of media coverage “suggests society has become complacent when the target of a protest is Jewish.”
Henderson concludes his article:
“In his recent essay From Blood Libel to Boycott, Professor Robert Wistrich paints a disturbing picture of anti-Semitism in contemporary Britain. A similar case has been made by the British lawyer and historian Anthony Julius about the hostility to academic Jews exhibited by the University and College Union in Britain.
Wistrich asks the hard question: ‘Why is Anglo-Jewry the only important ethnic or religious minority in contemporary Britain that has to provide a permanent system of guards and surveillance for its communal institutions, schools, synagogues and cultural centres?’ A similar question could be asked about Australia – both with respect to Jewish property and anti-Catholic sectarianism.”