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Golden era 'over' for local Jews

The golden age of Australian Jews is over, though most don’t realise it, an international conference on Antisemitism heard yesterday.
“Muslim Antisemitism could be laying the foundation for a second Holocaust,” US-based Middle East Forum director Daniel Pipes told the two-day conference at Monash University.
The controversial American commentator said the golden age of Jews in the US was 1945-2000, when they did not have to worry about themselves and could back other causes.
The Antisemitic threat came from Muslim converts and immigrants, and this was true throughout the West.
“European Jewry’s future is in doubt. Jews who survived the Holocaust must again fear for their future,” Mr Pipes said. “Polls say half the Jews of France have considered emigrating.”
The Muslim world today was like Germany in the 1930s, when state-sponsored insults, conspiracy theories and sporadic violence prepared people for mass murder.
“Former Iranian president Ali Rafsanjani said a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam,” Mr Pipes said.
Mr Pipes, a conservative Middle East analyst, has made a career out of identifying and denouncing what he sees as radical Muslim penetration of US institutions, according to a report in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz yesterday.
The paper reported that President George Bush had failed to renominate Mr Pipes to the board of the US Institute of Peace.
Today, the director of an Israeli group that monitors Palestinian media will tell the conference that four out of five Palestinian children want to die as suicide bombers.
Itamar Marcus, director of the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Media Watch, told The Age that the Palestinian Authority teaches hatred to children through music videos and sport.
“Soccer tournaments for under 14s are named after suicide terrorists, and all the teams are named after suicide terrorists,” Mr Marcus said. Songs had words such as: “Don't cry for me (as a suicide martyr), be joyous over my blood.”
Newspaper polls in Palestine showed that 70 or 80 per cent of Palestinian children aspired to martyrdom, he said.
Mr Marcus is in Melbourne to address the two-day conference at Monash University. The final sessions will be held today.
“Jews are presented as the causes of the world’s troubles. Killing Jews is both self-defence and a religious obligation,” Mr Marcus said.
Mr Marcus said the post-Arafat Palestinian Authority was similar to 1999, before the second intifada: it’s time for fighters to rest, but violence would resume when profitable.
Professor Dina Porat, of Tel Aviv University, told the conference Antisemitism was still rising, but the global response was so strong it could be called a turning point.