A few weeks ago I was walking along Hotham Street in Balaclava and noted security people on duty outside some of the Jewish buildings. Fairly low-key — just a man and a woman in suits with radios. They said good morning, and I reciprocated. I grew up near there, and it didn’t used to be that way. It’s becoming clear that, unfortunately, it’s a sign of the times.
Over the weekend some morons attacked people outside Glick’s Jewish bakery in Balaclava, and smashed a window. That’s less than a year after another attack further up Balaclava Road. And the local newspapers are reporting allegations that players from McKinnon Cricket Club posted anti-Semetic comments on Facebook, targetted at the Maccabi AJAX Cricket Club.
While it’s pleasing that the authorities in all these cases are taking it seriously (police are investigating, and Glen Eira Council may evict McKinnon Cricket Club from their ground), it does make me wonder what the hell’s going on. The Jewish community in Melbourne is very well established, having lived in the inner-southeast for decades, and while I know there’s long been anti-Semitism (I recall mild versions of it when I was at school), I would have thought in the 21st century we would have been beyond nasty idiotic acts like this.
Okay, so some people might disagree with some of the things Israel has been doing, but there’s no evidence any of this is politically motivated — from the looks of it, it’s just racist idiots targetting those who are different from them — those involved in the attack at Glick’s were earlier observed chasing an Indian man, calling him an Arab.
Given Pauline Hanson’s latest mindless ranting (Headline: “Hanson sick of Muslims” — yeah well I’m sick of Pauline Hanson) I fear ethnic groups may be in for a rough ride in the coming months.