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AZYC Youth Movements Statement on Recent Neo-Nazi Activity in Melbourne.

Wednesday 23 January 2019

The Australasian Zionist Youth Council (AZYC), incorporating the youth movements Betar Australia, Bnei Akiva Australia, CATZ, Habonim Dror Australia, Hashomer Hatzair Australia, Hineni Youth and Welfare, JAZY, Netzer Australia and Tzofim Australia, is deeply concerned by the emerging racist antisemitic discourse in Melbourne and around the world.

The Zionist Youth Movements of Australia have just returned from our highly successful summer camps and have all been reminded of the importance of having a safe and thriving Jewish community for the next generation. On camps, we instil in our chanichim the values each of our movements hold. It is our shared value of shivyon chevrati (social justice) that drives us to make this public stand against hatred.

As Jewish youth movements, we were especially distressed by the verbal and physical violence shown by antisemitic and racist extremists a few weeks ago at the St Kilda rally in Melbourne connected to the neo-Nazi movement.

The fact the rally occurred right next door to the centre of the Jewish community in Melbourne is exacerbated by the pro-Nazi and anti-immigration sentiment of these groups.

Many of the youth movements in the AZYC had members who were active in resistance movements during the Holocaust, such as during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. With our proud histories as movements and as Jewish organisations, we will not feel threatened by those who demonstrate ignorance and violence.

We proudly stand in solidarity with other ethnic and migrant communities, in particular African communities across Australia, which have been affected by increasingly vocal, racist fringe voices. This aligns with our Jewish value of tzedek, tzedek tirdof (justice, justice you shall pursue).

We recognise that this is not an isolated incident; the march in Melbourne is a reflection of many antisemitic and neo-Nazi attacks made on Jewish communities and minority groups around the world. As Jews, we wholeheartedly condemn all forms of racially motivated attacks wherever they may occur.

The AZYC firmly stands against racism, antisemitism and violence. We proudly celebrate diversity and multiculturalism, and as Jewish youth we are proud to lead the charge in celebrating a harmonious, safe and welcoming Australia.