29 November 2023

'There's no place for that sort of hatred': Vandals behind antisemitic stickers on Civic gelato store could face legal action

| James Coleman
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Antisemitic vandalism on ice cream shop

Antisemitic vandalism at Anita Gelato in Civic. Photo: Australian Jewish Association.

Protesters who covered a Jewish-owned gelato store in Civic with anti-Israeli stickers could fall foul of new legislation in the ACT.

In a photo captured by a “concerned member of the community” and submitted to the Australian Jewish Association (AJA) on Sunday, 26 November, the outside of ‘Anita Gelato’ on Bunda Street, Civic, included stickers depicting the star of David with a red line through it.

AJA CEO Robert Gregory said the incident was “reminiscent of darker periods in Jewish history”.

“We are taking this incident very seriously,” he told Region.

“We know this is not an isolated incident. We have lots of reports from across Australia of similar vandalism on this particular chain and other Jewish-owned stores since the initial [Hamas] attack on 7 October. Australia is experiencing a wave of antisemitic vandalism.”

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Anita Gelato was founded in Netanya, Israel, by Anita Avital and her son, Nir, in 1998. They opened four stores in the Tel Aviv area, followed by others around the world. Here in Australia, there are six in Sydney, one in Brisbane and one in Canberra.

Vandals previously targeted the Brisbane store in 2021 when the name “Israel” was crossed out from a list of locations on the store’s signage.

Mr Gregory reiterated that these businesses are “not connected with any overseas conflict”. He urged the community to “come together to lower the rhetoric and support the Jewish community during this very difficult time”.

“My message to Canberrans is that Jewish businesses are never a fair target.”

The stickers used in the vandalism of the Canberra store appear to be the same as those distributed during pro-Palestine rallies held across Australia since the 7 October attack.

The AJA will attempt to track down the source of the stickers so it can pursue legal action.

Here in the ACT, the public display of Nazi symbols (chiefly swastikas) is banned under legislation passed in August 2023. This also applies to people in the ACT who broadcast a Nazi symbol to a public audience beyond Canberra’s borders, such as on social media.

The maximum penalty is a $19,200 fine or 12 months in prison, or both.

The only exception is for “legitimate reasons”, such as people of Jain, Buddhist and Hindu faiths, teachers, artists and protesters demonstrating opposition to fascism or Nazism.

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In response to questions about the vandalism at Anita Gelato, Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury told media on 27 November “there is no place for that sort of hatred in our city”.

“Canberra is a welcoming city. People should not be attacked because of their race, religion, ethnic background – this is a city of tolerance and there is no place for that sort of attack in our city.”

He said ACT legislation is broad enough to cover “a whole range of antisemitic or other racial vilification”, where it is possible to identify a perpetrator.

“I would expect [the vandals] to be prosecuted under this legislation.”

Shane Rattenbury speaking to the media

Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury said the vandals could face prosecution. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Over the past two weeks, ACT Policing has received two reports of city-based businesses being covered in propaganda stickers.

A spokesperson said police “will continue to monitor this type of behaviour and will prosecute as required those who are responsible for acts of public nuisance, vandalism or criminal damage”.

“Aside from these incidents, there have been no Islamophobia or antisemitic offences reported to ACT Policing in the past two months.”

Anita Gelato Canberra was contacted for comment.

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Typical pro-Palestinian protestor: We are not racist as we protest against the policies and actions of Israel and do not target Jews specifically.

Also them: Proceeds to vandalise a Jewish business on the basis of race of its owners and as if it were an embassy of Israel.

Long live Israel!

People who are tempted to attack Jewish people because they think it is edgy, cool, and the progressive left thing to do, should remember that the last major pogrom was by Hitler, with many, many massacres of Jews in other pogroms periodically over previous centuries. Just like the present attacks, there’s always a justification why Jews should be singled out and attacked. Hiding behind edgy and cool talk of decolonization does not make you any better. Nor does going to university somehow give you some kind of above-it-all superior “social justice” license to attack Jews. If you attack Jews, historical perspective is clear: you’re in with Hitler’s mob.

Depends how broad or narrow your definition of pogrom. The anti-igbo pogrom in Nigeria in the 60s comes to mind a sbeing bigger. But something tells me your view is narrow, it’s the only way you can push the narrative.

I agree that it is wrong to plaster stickers over someone’s business. Anita had them washed off in 30 minutes. I have seen these stickers, they are not anti-Semetic, they say to “Boycott Israel”. I am tired of the pro-Zion, pro-Israel lobby shutting down protest by claiming anti-Semeticism. Israel is actively committing genocide, occupies Palestinian land and steals their land and water. Israel is an apartheid state like South Africa was before that was defeated.
Just because the AJA bleats doesn’t mean it is true.

I’m not Jewish or pro-Jew but why this “outrage” now for something that has been happening for the best part of 70 years? The Gaza Strip was created in 1949 after the Arab-Israeli war long before the bandwagon free-Palestine supporters were even born. A lot of the teens and school kids marching in these rallies only just found out Palestine was a thing a month ago before thinking it’s hip and cool to support it to show how progressive they are lol!

Context: “someone’s business”. You try to obfuscate the significance in your first sentence. It was a *Jewish* business. Whoever did this was not in the first instance targeting politics, they were targeting a particular identity group. You’ll scoff to defend yourself, but it’s clear: these weren’t stickers put up on public property: it was targeted on a Jewish business. You want to say it’s not antisemitic? Well, if you know who did this, tell them not to target Jews. Because that, right there, is antisemitism.

In addition to my previous comment to you, in which I challenged your attempt to de-racialise the incident when you referred to “someone’s” business, I challenge you to read a rebuttal of your unfounded and partisan “genocide” allegation. I dare you to read, with serious consideration, a viewpoint that isn’t your own.

This is from Tablet magazine. It centrist, sometimes soft right, sometimes classical liberal. In anticipation of what I suspect someone with such black and white views as yours will probably respond: no, it isn’t “far right fascist extremism” and you shouldn’t summarily dismiss other people views with slurs like that.

Your position, apart from being an odious one-sided framing, is also factually incorrect to the point of you falling prey to misinformation.


Targeting the windows of Jewish linked business places, how very Crystal Night of our local antisemites.

This is Australia, no place for hate crimes like this. I hope they are caught and charged. Bloody disgusting behaviour!

They are left wing nutcases. Same mob from extinction rebellion, metoo and blm. They’ll find any excuse to parade their left wing views. Think about it – there are no where near that many people with Palestinian heritage in Canberra as there are showing up in these rallies.

Thats quite a offensive post and very, wrong. Metoo, blm and extinction rebellion are not anti semitic. To equate them is deply offensive and a sad reflection of your own intolerance.

I never implied they were antisemitic only that those who support them only do so for pure virtue signalling. You don’t hear about free Ukraine or any of those left wing causes anymore because they move from one to the next without understanding the issue. School children protesting on these issues just shows the shallowness of left wing ideology in society.

McDonald’s in civic (East Row) was targeted in exactly the same way last Saturday. Apparently they are a target because the McDonald’s Israel franchise has offered free meals to members of the Israel Defence Force during the conflict. There should be plenty of surveillance footage so hopefully they will all be charged.

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