Australian lawmakers sign anti-Semitism declaration

Australian lawmakers sign anti-Semitism declaration

Jewish politician Joshua Frydenberg facilitates signing by 40 Liberal National Party members

SYDNEY (JTA) – At least 50 Australian lawmakers signed the London Declaration on Combating Anti-Semitism.

Joshua Frydenberg, a Jewish lawmaker from Melbourne, helped coordinate the signing on Tuesday by more than 40 of his partners from the Liberal National Party coalition in the House of Representatives.

“This is a fantastic result given the importance of the subject and the declaration itself,” he said.

The party’s leader, Tony Abbott, also signed the declaration. Some senators are expected to sign Wednesday.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard signed the declaration on April 23, saying anti-Semitism did not end with the fall of Nazism.

“It pollutes our world right now,” she said. “In the face of anti-Semitism, there can be no bystanders.”

Professor Stuart Rees, a longstanding Israel critic at the University of Sydney, blasted the signatories.

“The resort to charges of anti-Semitism regarding the worldwide criticisms of the internationally illegal policies of the government of Israel is an age-old technique to stifle any criticism of blatant human rights abuses,” The Australian newspaper quoted Rees as saying Tuesday.

The London Declaration on Combating Anti-Semitism was launched in London in February 2009 by global parliamentarians who, among other things, resolved to “expose, challenge, and isolate political actors who engage in hate against Jews and target the State of Israel as a Jewish collectivity.”

Some 200 legislators from 40 countries are believed to have signed the London declaration.

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