Melbourne Archbishop Peter A Comensoli has sent a letter to Melbourne Church leaders urging them to stand with the Jewish community against the “explosion of explicit anti-Semitism” in Australia. Source: Herald Sun.
Archbishop Comensoli is among several faith and cultural figures throwing their support behind Jewish Victorians after violent clashes erupted on a suburban street in Caulfield as pro-Palestinian protesters gathered near a synagogue on Friday night.
On Saturday, Archbishop Comensoli issued a letter to be read at all Catholic churches on Sunday morning.
“The explosion of explicit anti-Semitism in parts of Australian society – on university campuses, in street protests, in mainstream and social media, and even among some claiming Christian belief – is shocking and deeply distressing,” he said.
“It speaks of the re-emergence of a latent distrust and culpable ignorance of the people of Jewish heritage, fuelled by deliberately fostered hatreds and loathing, and tied into dishonest agendas from extreme standpoints, both from the left and from the right.”
Archbishop Comensoli said the horror and tragedy perpetrated in Israel and Gaza did not justify the steep rise in anti-Semitism.
“The language of hatred and spite, of innuendo and slogan, is language emanating from a poisoned soul,” he said.
Makarand Bhagwat from the Hindu Council of Australia and fellow Indian community leader Jay Shah also said they were standing in “unwavering solidarity” with the Jewish community against “terrorism” in anti-Semitism.
Rabbinical Association of Australasia president Rabbi Yaakov Glasman thanked the leaders for their support “during this exceptionally challenging time”, as well as Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan on “her strong and principled stance and for her call for peaceful demonstrations”.
“There is no place for violence or hate speech in our wonderful state,” he said.
Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli urges Jewish support as rise in anti-Semitism (By Carly Douglas, Herald Sun)