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Anti-Semitic incidents drop in Australia, report finds

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — Australia has seen a “dramatic decrease” in anti-Semitic incidents in the past year, according to a new report.

The harassment of Jews on their way to and from synagogue reached a record high, however, according to the annual “Report on Anti-Semitism in Australia” made public Monday.

The report revealed that 394 anti-Semitic incidents were recorded from Oct. 1, 2009 to Sept. 30, 2010 — a “dramatic decrease” on the previous 12-month period, when an all-time high of 962 incidents were recorded.

But the 138-page report, which was tabled Monday at the annual Executive Council of Australian Jewry conference, noted that this year’s tally is still 5 percent above average since 1989, when the recording of data began in Australia.

“Reports of anti-Semitic incidents are down, but it’s still 394 too many,” the report’s author, Jeremy Jones, the director of international and community affairs at the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, told JTA.

Jones also noted that physical attacks on Australian Jews were the fourth-highest on record. Among the “most disturbing” incidents listed was an assault on an Orthodox man on a train in Melbourne; the assault of synagogue staff in Sydney by a man who was later arrested and charged; and vandalism to synagogue buildings in Sydney and Melbourne.
 

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