As I wrote during the Covid pandemic, I’d often wondered what it must have been like to be in say, Berlin, Rome, or Shanghai, and watch the world around you slide inexorably into totalitarianism. Well, now I know.

Unfortunately, Covid was very far from the end of the story. Because now, we’re getting a shocking insight into just what it must have been like in Berlin in the late 1920s and early ’30s. We’re not quite at the “Kristallnacht” stage yet – but it can’t be far away, at the rate things are deteriorating. Antisemitic mobs are marching in the streets daily, cheerfully accompanied by elected politicians. In some of the biggest cities of the West, authorities are openly and proudly repeating genocidal, anti-Jewish slogans.

The worst of it is, it’s as if, instead of the universal horror that greeted the liberation of Auschwitz, the Allied nations had decided to get in on the act, too.

It is obvious that October 7 had a double significance – it turned Israel into a state determined to purge Hamas and confront the Iranian proxies that threaten its existence, and it unleashed in Western democracies a pent-up outbreak of anti-Semitism with deep roots that suggest it will become an enduring phenomenon until met with an effective political and psychological response.

As Liberal MP Julian Leeser said: “Hamas didn’t just seek to brutalise Israel. They sought to unleash anti-Semitism across the world and, sadly, they have” […]

The first sign was the almost instantaneous reaction, the pro-Palestinian march in Sydney from Town Hall to the Opera House on October 9 and the anti-Semitic chants. Yet the bigger story quickly unfolded – this was a far broader movement with deep cultural roots.

And the deepest and broadest are among the very people who’ve spent the last few decades shrieking Nazis! at everyone else.

In the following weeks hostility towards Israel took off – in universities, in schools, in the unions, notably the teacher unions, in the media, in the ABC, across much of the cultural sector, among actors, artists and writers and, above all, in the Greens political party that draws support from about 12 per cent of voters and conspicuously from higher educated influencers and social media activists.

This didn’t happen by accident. It reflected a long-cultivated sentiment in the progressive left, a political and moral movement, where hostility towards Israel has grown into an article of faith. Israel’s retaliation after October 7 became the political release valve.

But it’s not just about Israel. Don’t buy the mealy mouthed lies from the “pro Palestinian” brownshirts: it’s about Jews everywhere around the world. If it wasn’t, then why have Jews in Australia seen a skyrocket in hate crimes? Why the attacks on businesses, students and people in the streets who are not Israeli, but who are Jewish?

Everywhere on the left, the rhetoric is increasingly open that it’s not Israel, but Jews.

Witness the comments from NSW Greens MP Jenny Leong, who said “the Jewish lobby and the Zionist lobby are infiltrating into every single aspect of what is ethnic community groups” with their “tentacles”.

Federal Labor Jewish MP Josh Burns called this “one of the most blatantly racist and bigoted statements by any elected official in Australia”. He said “not one Greens MP, state or federal, has called out” the bigotry. Leong did apologise and the Greens cleaned up. But [Leeser]’s comment remains valid: “Anti-Semitism is now a full-blown feature of the extremist-Greens political ideology.”

The Australian

The explosion of antisemitism on the left is exacerbated by a grotesque synergy: the left’s long hostility to Israel (and, consequently, Jews), coupled with their fawning adulation for the brutally intolerant ideology of Islam. When Greens politicians marched alongside a mob in Sydney chanting anti-Jewish hate, that mob was almost entirely Muslim. When the ABC sacked a Muslim journalist for antisemitic social media posts, the green-left erupted in fury – and a barrage of antisemitic vitriol.

Lawyers at the centre of the Antoinette Lattouf sacking furore have received a torrent of online abuse, including being called “Jewish rodents”, and death threats suggesting they’d be “hung from a bridge”, after media coverage revealed their complaints to the ABC before the radio presenter was sacked in December.

Tellingly, depicting Jews as ‘rats’ was a core motif of Nazi antisemitic propaganda. Just as the ‘cockroaches’ rhetoric of the Hutus was the catalyst for the Rwandan genocide, dehumanising Jews as rats was key to enabling the Nazi genocide.

The abuse from the ‘pro-Palestinian’ mobs is escalating well beyond the dire pale of hateful social media discourse to open incitement.

One lawyer received a message on Facebook that said “little b–ch … I’ve got your face now, it’ll be spreading like the Palestinian wave”.

“Jewish rodent,” another account messaged one of the lawyers. “Tick-tock, you’re going to be hung from a bridge very soon.”

… Another user, on social media platform X, posted a picture of one of the lawyers, with her husband and three children, wearing kippahs.

Other emails included threats that “(your) business would disappear before your eyes”.

The Australian understands at least one of the lawyers reported the matter to police after receiving threatening phone calls saying “we’re coming for you”.

The Australian

The people spouting this kind of hate are not just some inconsequential randos on Facebook, either.

The legal watchdog has been urged to stand down a Sydney barrister who has praised Hamas terrorists as “absolute heroes” and said, “Zionists … are a stain on humanity which needs to be wiped out” …

Nicholas Poynder, a Frederick Jordan Chambers barrister and a former senior legal officer with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, was reported to the Legal Services Commissioner on Tuesday following several social media posts condemning Israel and lauding Hamas as “the defender of Palestinians”.

He also publicly supported controversial comments made by NSW Greens MP Jenny Leong, who in a video referred to the “tentacles” of the “Jewish lobby” […]

In another post, on February 5, Mr Poynder wrote: “Israelis are monsters. They no longer deserve their own country.”

The Australian

Never forget that the real enablers of the Third Reich were not the street-rabble boot-boys of the Sturmabteilung, but the middle echelons of ‘polite’ German society that flocked to the cause of antisemitism. Not just the Junkers, industrialists and political elite, but also the professions and civil servants. Doctors, for instance, were the earliest and most enthusiastic profession to sign up for the NSDAP. Academics, public school teachers and university students all became enthusiastic promulgators of Nazi antisemitism.

It’s all happening again.

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In the last decade...