Australian PM announces appointment of envoy to combat antisemitism

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese speaks during a virtual National Cabinet meeting May 1, 2024. (Gaye Gerard/Pool Photo via AP)
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese speaks during a virtual National Cabinet meeting May 1, 2024. (Gaye Gerard/Pool Photo via AP)

Australia’s prime minister appoints a special envoy to tackle antisemitism in the country, urging his compatriots to avoid being “torn apart” by tensions over the war in Gaza.

An envoy on Islamophobia will also be named “shortly,” Anthony Albanese says.

As in many countries, Palestinian supporters in Australia have held street rallies and university protests against the war between Hamas and Israel, with some slogans sparking concern of a rise in extremism and antisemitism.

“There is no place for violence or hatred of any kind in Australia,” Albanese says.

The naming of the antisemitism special envoy, Jillian Segal, is a “critical step” to easing tensions in Australia as a result of the Middle East fighting, he says.

“Australians are deeply concerned about this conflict, and many are hurting. In times like this, Australians must come together, not be torn apart.”

The Australian leader tells reporters in Sydney that the government will soon announce an envoy on Islamophobia, adding: “That will be important as well, working with that community to promote social cohesion.”

Albanese’s centre-left Labor Party has itself been split over how to respond to the conflict.

Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Jillian Segal speaks during a media conference in Sydney on October 9, 2023 (DAVID GRAY / AFP)

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