The Liberal members of Sydney’sy’s Waverley Council which covers a major part of the city’s Eastern Suburbs were victorious when their motion for Council to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism was passed 9 to 1 with only Greens Cr Kanak voting against it.

November 3, 2021

Councillor Tony Kay, who introduced the motion to Waverley Council, said: “The definition, including contemporary examples of antisemitic behaviour perpetrated against Jewish people, will be an excellent guide to new conversations and actions around antisemitism to create a safer and more welcoming Waverley.

“We are leading the way at the local government level in Australia and making it clear that antisemitism has no place in our community”, Cr Kay added.

“I was hoping for bipartisan support and so it is sad to see the Greens councillor opposing this key initiative.”

“This motion makes Waverley Council one of the first councils in Australia to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism, which has been adopted by countries across Europe, Asia and the United States.”page1image56007616
Cr Kay said that more than 15% of Waverley residents identify as Jewish, and it is therefore incredibly important for the Council to show leadership on this issue.

He told the Council: “Antisemitism remains a persistent, growing, and increasingly concerning feature of life for Australia’s Jewish community. The Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) recorded 331 antisemitic incidents in its 2020 report with particularly disturbing experiences occurring in schools and affecting Jewish children as young as five.

While there are obvious acts of antisemitism, such as swastikas scrawled across Bondi Beach walls, other behaviours which too often fall below the radar need to be called out too.”

The CEO of The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies Darren Bark told J-Wire: “By Waverley Council passing this motion we have added another tool, and most importantly a strong partner, in the fight against antisemitism. As we said in our endorsement to Council on this motion, bigotry, hate speech and racially motivated violence have no place in Australia – and now even closer to home, no place in the Waverley LGA.”