The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) has issued a statement explaining the difference between criticising Israel and being anti-Semitic, this was adopted at the Federal Council Meeting in February 2024.

AFIC is the leading Muslim organisation in Australia, was founded in 1964 and has a long history of providing various community services and actively advocating for the rights and representation of the Muslim community. 

In the current situation, the confusion about the statements made about the Jewish community and those of Israel are affecting the community. And this confusion is being exploited by some voices to create more division and conflict in the social harmony of our society. 

AFIC rejects the blurring of the discussion that leads to the assumption that an attack on Israel or Zionism is anti-Semitic. 

In the statement, AFIC denounces anti-Semitism in all its forms and stresses the importance of separating valid criticism of Israel’s government policies and actions, and anti-Semitism, which is hostility, hatred, or discrimination against Jews as a religious group.

AFIC also acknowledges the complexity and diversity of views within the global Jewish community regarding Zionism and Israel’s policies. 

AFIC supports the importance of preserving the right to free speech and the critical examination of all governments’ policies, including those of Israel, within the framework of international law and human rights standards.

The organization also urges informed, respectful, and constructive discourse that distinguishes between political criticism and racial or religious hatred. 

In summary, AFIC asserts that the difference between criticising Israel and being anti-Semitic is essential to promoting a world that values dialogue, respects human rights, and strongly opposes bigotry. 

More information is available on the AFIC website:
https://afic.com.au/2024/03/the-distinction-between-criticism-of-israel-and-antisemitism/