There was a "marked increase" in the seriousness of anti-Semitic incidents reported in Australia this year, according to the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.

The latest annual ECAJ report into incidents of anti-Semitism found that there were 225 attacks and 143 threats - a total of 368 incidents - logged during the year to the end of September. 

While overall number of anti-Semitic incidents only slightly exceeded the 366 incidents reported last year - a number which represented a 59 per cent increase on the previous year, Julie Nathan, the ECAJ's research director on anti-Semitism, said the report showed a "marked increase in the seriousness of the incidents recorded".

"Especially concerning was the 30 per cent spike in the number of reported incidents involving direct verbal abuse, harassment and intimidation, from 88 in 2018 to 114 in 2019, and the more than doubling of the number of reported graffiti attacks, from 46 to 95," she said.

Nathan said the sharp jump in reported incidents of verbal abuse, harassment and intimidation "demonstrates that anti-Semites felt increasingly emboldened to behave in an aggressive, confrontational and menacing way towards Jews who were doing nothing more than going about their daily lives".

“Jews continued to be verbally abused and harassed around synagogues on a regular basis, especially over the Jewish Sabbath, and on other Jewish holy days and festivals. These are periods when many Jews are congregating at, and walking to or from, synagogue, providing antisemites with an easy target."

She added that not only did the graffitti incidents more than double but the messages they contained included calls for the murder of Jews, and support for Hitler and Nazism.

“Last year, by comparison, there were only two reported incidents of graffiti calling for the killing of Jews," she said. "Holocaust denial was another common theme.”

The report did also show there was an increasing recognition within mainstream Australian society and the media of the rise of anti-Semitism in Australia and around the world.