Feral Anti-Israel Protesters Descend on Melbourne Jewish Community in Antisemitic “Protest”

Last Friday, a fire broke out at a Melbourne burger shop, with police treating it as suspicious. Many tried to link it to its owner’s support for “Palestine”, although the police said they were “very confident” the fire was not linked to this at all.

At this stage, there is nothing to indicate that this incident is related to any religious or political involvement [sic] and that we’re treating it as a suspicious fire.

It’s very early in the investigation, but I am confident that this is not religiously or politically motivated.

There was nothing linking the fire to any other incident, nor any concern about any further harm being committed, and it was expected arrests would be made soon, Dwyer said.

But it mattered little to the 100 or so of anti-Israel “protesters”, who descended on the Jewish suburb of Caulfield after being asked by the burger place owner to take their protest away from the restaurant.

In a park right outside a synagogue (Central Shule Chabad).

During Shabbat prayers.

On the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

Naturally, the mob were not there to make nice.

I received the following from a Jewish lady near the scene, which reveals the level of distress of the Jewish community:

My name is Inessa. I live nearby. I am a GP, and I have a clinic nearby too. I was there after about 8:50pm. So I didn’t see the people getting evacuated from the shule, or the Muslim prayer, myself. I drove by twice before, when it was still light, and at 8:30 I took my dog to the park. When I drove by, there was a group right at the front, facing Hawthorn road, kaffyes over their faces, behind a massive sign saying “Jews in solidarity with Palestine”. This made me regret having too much food for dinner. Really I went because I found myself at home alone with the dog, and that’s where we normally go in the evening. It was nearly 9 and I was quite surprised that it was still going and I was quite upset about how noisy it was. They were using megaphones. I had a text about synagogue being cancelled, but I thought of people in their homes on erev Shabbat, hearing the loud chants, probably feeling scared. Also, there is a palliative hospital with a nursing home attached, just down the road. I stupidly went right through the pro-Palestine protesters, as I didn’t realise that there were now two groups, on either side of Hawthorn. They were flanked by police all along Hawthorn. There was a guy yelling instructions through a megaphone, like “marshals pull back”. There were another two people holding megaphones I think. Or one could have been a microphone. The group closest to Maple street, looked like they were the leftist, Marxist group, and they were doing what looked like a choreographed walk back and forth, holding hands.

I came up to a policeman standing right in front of these people with megaphones and I said that I am a local GP and that it’s already dark and late, and that there is a palliative hospital down the road with terminally ill patients, who are literally in hospital because they are dying. And that the loud noise and aggressive chanting is deeply distressing, as well as to people in their homes. I said that there are many elderly people living in these homes, and some are Holocaust survivors, and how it must be inconceivably distressing. He said that there is nothing they can do except to control any violence that breaks out. He said that the people have a legal right to protest. I said that I was sure that there was also freedom of religion, yet these people’s freedom to protest has overriden the Jewish people’s freedom of worship. He said he knows, that he feels sympathetic, but they are allowed by law to protest. A protester behind me jeered that it’s good for people to hear it from their homes. He was a tall thin guy with an Afro hairstyle. I said again to the policeman that they have had their protest, but given the lateness of the hour, and the noise level and the distress, can’t the police now shut it down? He said that no matter how much it “may cause discomfort to other people, and no matter if some people agree that it’s in bad taste, they can’t stop them.” Then a car stopped in the middle of the road and the crowd on the park side (pro-Palestinian) surged towards the car, and the policeman rushed towards the car. I then went to the other side of the road, to the pro-Israel side. It was mostly young men, a bit rough, yelling at the police. There didn’t seem to be anyone in charge. Some men from Hatzolah were walking through. I just thought I would stand and observe for a bit, in case I could be useful. Also, and I know this sounds very weird, but I kind of felt safer next to this crowd of Jews, than at home by myself. The rest pretty much like the videos show. The violent scuffles were quickly controlled by the police, and they are pretty much captured on videos. The thing that I was a little freaked out was the cars and vans and trucks driving through these two crowds with massive Palestinian flags and yelling and hollering from the car. Every scuffle occurred when a car stopped and i think they may have thrown something from the car, or someone got out and then men from both sides ran towards that car. But even the ones that didn’t stop, just driving by with open windows and flying Palestinian flags, beeping and yelling was confrontational in Caulfield.

Peter Dutton, the Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia, condemned the anti-Israel protesters:

The protester organizers Free Palestine Melbourne have released a statement, in which they apologized, claiming they were not aware there was a synagogue there (sure). Apparently, descending on the Jewish community, though, was ok. As was lying about the arson attack and nature of the protest.

I truly fear for my Jewish brothers in sisters outside of Israel, even in my birthplace of Australia.

And I cannot believe I am saying this – I never thought this would happen there.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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