Jewish Council of Australia denounces Christian fundamentalist 'Never Again Is Now' rally
May 18, 2024

The Jewish Council of Australia is concerned about a pro-Israel Christian fundamentalist rally, due to take place in Melbourne today, framed under the misleading banner of fighting antisemitism, and organised by the group ‘Never Again Is Now’. This rally aims to exploit Jewish fear about antisemitism and Holocaust memory for a pro-Israel Christian Zionist agenda.

The lineup of speakers is a motley crew including Liberal party politicians, Iranian monarchists and representatives from organisations such as the Australian Christian Lobby, which has been listed as a far-right extremist group for its anti-LGBTIQA+ policies. 

Some of the central organisers are openly hostile to Islam.

‘Never Again is Now’ rallies in other Australian cities have platformed speakers with long histories of bigotry and racism against Muslim people and LGBTIQA+ people. 

The Jewish Council has serious concerns that ‘Never Again is Now’ are promoting their event via co-hosted Instagram posts with well known far-right agitator Avi Yemini, as well as other accounts which feature Islamophobic content. 

Many of the organisations supporting and sponsoring these rallies are Christian Zionist groups that support Israel and encourage Jews to migrate there with the express aim of hastening the end of the world and the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Sarah Schwartz, Executive Officer of the Jewish Council of Australia:

“Right-wing Jewish leaders are sorely mistaken if they think they can fight antisemitism through pushing Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian racism. We need to fight antisemitism as part of the fight against all forms of racism and bigotry, by acting in solidarity with others facing racism. It does not assist the fight against antisemitism to treat it in a silo from other forms of racism and to conflate antisemitism with support for Palestinian human rights.” 

“At a time when the International Court of Justice has found a plausible case that Israel is committing genocide, the weaponisation of false antisemitism accusations and Holocaust memory - by saying ‘Never Again is Now’ - to be directly lobbying for Israel is particularly egregious.”

“We are concerned about the way in which some Jewish representative organisations and the Israel lobby are willing to partner with people with long histories of bigotry and racism against Muslims, Arabs and LGBTQIA+ people.”

Dr Max Kaiser, Executive Officer of the Jewish Council of Australia:

“The rally features organisations and speakers with a history of anti-trans, anti-LGBTQIA+, anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiments. This fusion of right wing Jewish and Christian fundamentalism under the misleading banner of fighting ‘antisemitism’ is very concerning.”

“The Israel lobby continues to conflate Jews and Israel, including by engaging in lobbying for Israel on behalf of the whole Jewish community. These groups do not represent the opinions of all Jews, many of whom deplore Israel’s human rights abuses.”

Media contact:

0493 970 412

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