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.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.