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Hate Crimes Down in Australia

Anti-Semitic hate crimes decreased in Australia last year, according to Australia’s central Jewish group.

Some 246 such acts were reported last year, down from 300 in 1996.

The president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Diane Shteinman, said, “Harassment of Jewish individuals in Australia continues at an unacceptable high rate.”

Among the incidents that the Council identified as being of particular concern during 1997 were fires at a Jewish educational center, graffiti on Jewish gravestones, swastikas painted on the door of a major Jewish community center and anti-Semitic graffiti at a Jewish day school.

Shteinman welcomed the fact that there was a substantial decrease in the incidents of violence, property damage and vandalism in 1997.

But there was no discernible drop in incidents of threatening and abusive telephone calls, hate mail, poster and leaflet distribution and anti-Jewish electronic mail.

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