The AJDS and nearly twenty other Jewish organisations have signed onto the following communal Rosh Hashana statement against racism:
As Jewish organisations committed to social justice, egalitarianism and the values of liberal democracy, we are committed to an Australian community that is inclusive, tolerant and diverse.
The Jewish people are only too aware of the damage that can occur when religious or ethnic groups are targeted by hate speech. We understand that an Australia built on acceptance can empower and uplift the potential of diverse communities. Indeed, it is these values that has enabled the Jewish community to become a thriving and contributing part of the wider Australian community.
Therefore, the rise in Islamophobia and racism are of particular concern. Extremist voices that exploit dog whistle politics to target minority groups, such as Muslim Australians and refugees and people seeking asylum have no place in a multicultural and pluralist society like Australia.
However, discrimination against minority groups does not just damage our collective morality; it harms progress towards peace and security by creating a society that alienates and divides parts of our community, driving disaffected young people towards radicalisation.
We believe that bigoted views represent the worst in our society and weaken the fabric of our vibrant multicultural society. We therefore stand proudly, arm in arm, with our Muslim friends, and all victims of racism, in recognising that there is more that unites us than divides us.
As Rosh Hashana approaches, a time when our community gathers in all its diversity to reflect on our deeds over the past year and affirm our collective desire to be a more caring and charitable community, we hope and pray for a more tolerant and compassionate Australia that celebrates the dignity of difference.
In the coming year, may the voices of ignorance, stereotyping and racism be drowned out by those of love, compassion and pluralism.
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