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Standing up against antisemitism

It has been heartbreaking to see incidents of antisemitism and discrimination targeting Jewish people across the country. Whatever your perspective on the war overseas, our multicultural country's success is founded on values of respect for all Australians, regardless of religion or ethnic background. These values are more important than ever and we must stand up for them. 

Like many in our community, I am deeply disturbed by incidents such as the abhorrent chanting at the Opera House, antisemitic graffiti, and boycotts of Jewish businesses. I recently joined the Prime Minister and Josh Burns MP in meeting with the Rabbinical Council to listen and discuss the experiences of the Jewish community and I will continue to work across parliament to stand up against antisemitism.

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As your federal MP, there are several national initiatives I am closely involved in which aim to combat antisemitism. These include:

  • Combatting antisemitism at universities: along with my fellow co-chairs of the Parliamentary Friends of IHRA – Josh Burns MP and Julian Leeser MP – I have been leading action to improve how universities address antisemitism on campus. Following a survey of Jewish student experiences which I ran late last year, we joined ECAJ and AUJS in bringing together Jewish students and leaders of most major Australian universities for a roundtable on how better to combat antisemitism. I have also held several bilateral meetings with Vice Chancellors. A key point of discussion was next steps for the universities to ensure they have incorporated best practice measures in dealing with antisemitism , including improved reporting mechanisms and productive communication with Jewish student groups. I have also been working closely with AUJS to support Jewish students affected by the recent encampents. Following actions taken by the IHRA Friends Group in 2023, five universities embraced the IHRA antisemitism definition.
  • 'Doxxing': I joined with Julian Leeser and others to call for the government to consider legal options to prevent “doxxing” – the malicious publication of personal information. The government has committed to doing this and I will be engaging closely in the development of these laws.

  • Pushing for an antisemitism envoy: I have been working alongside Zoe Daniel MP to push for an antisemitism envoy. The envoy would consult with Jewish communities, faith leaders and other stakeholders to work towards effective solutions and raise the awareness of antisemitism. The envoy could also engage with similar envoys overseas to identify joint opportunities for learning and action. The US, Canada and Germany already have antisemitism envoys whose roles are to find ways to prevent and combat antisemitism and promote Holocaust awareness. We have written to the Prime Minister on this matter and will continue to push it forward.

  • Pushing the Human Rights Commission to address antisemitism: As the body with responsibility for “building communities where people of all cultures and backgrounds feel safe, respected and included” the Human Rights Commission must lead on actions to address antisemitism. I recently wrote to them to seek an urgent update on how they are addressing antisemitism and building social cohesion at a time of huge community tension.

  • Working with the Crossbench to address antisemitism: I organised a meeting with the ECAJ, NSW JBD and other members of the Crossbench to discuss issues relating to antisemitism, Israel and the broader concerns of the Jewish community. It was very productive to bring these groups together with other members of the Crossbench to help achieve a mutual understanding of concerns and shared values.
  • Banning Nazi symbols: I strongly supported a new set of laws which banned the public display of “prohibited hate symbols” (including the Nazi symbol and Nazi salute). These came into force in January 2024 and will ensure no one in Australia will be allowed to glorify or profit from acts and symbols that celebrate the Nazis and their evil ideology.

  • Helping secure grants for faith-based places: last year, seven Wentworth organisations, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, and the Community Security Group received funding under the “Securing Faith Based Places” grants. I fought hard for these grants and I look forward to continuing to work with all those in need of support. 
  • Providing input to the Multicultural Framework Review: this review will advise the government on what “institutional, legislative and policy settings can best build Australia’s multiculturalism over the next decade”. I have met the Minister for Multicultural Affairs and the Review Panel to discuss the importance of action on antisemitism as part of this process.

Many people have also contacted me about how laws relating to hate speech and incitement to violence can be strengthened. Whilst these are the responsibility of the NSW Government, I have twice written to the NSW Police Minister regarding this issue and spoken with her on several occasions to convey the strength of feeling in the community. The NSW government have also recently launched a review of Section 93Z of the Crimes Act which deals with hate speech.

My speeches in parliament:

  • February 2024 - Antisemitism at universities - Read here
  • November 2023 - Banning Nazi symbols - Read here
  • November 2023 - Antisemitism and social cohesion - Read here
  • November 2023 - Social cohesion in schools and celebrating Hanukkah - Read here
  • October 2023 - October 7 terrorist attacks and the Sydney Opera House protests - Read here
  • August 2023 - Celebrating the winners of the Mikolot speaking competition - Read here 
  • March 2023 - International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and antisemitism at universities - Read here
  • November 2022 - Withdrawing recognition of West Jerusalem - Read here
  • September 2022 - International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance - Read here
  • September 2022 - Antisemitism in Sydney schools - Read here


  • Allegra speaks in Parliament on antisemitism and banning Nazi symbols. Watch here.
  • ABC News – Allegra discusses the importance of action on antisemitism. Watch here.
  • Allegra speech in Parliament regarding antisemitism and the Middle East. Watch here
  • Sky News – Allegra talks about antisemitism at protests in Sydney. Watch here.


  • Plus61JVic Alhadeff sits down with Allegra Spender, who has been outspoken in supporting the Jewish community since the Hamas attacks. See here.
  • The Australian – Sydney MPs and Jewish leaders condemn antisemitic posters. See here.
  • The Australian Jewish News - Allegra Spender working for the community in 5783. See here.
  • J-WireAllegra Spender supports the CommunitySee here.

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