Anti-Semites are emboldened the world over

Nov 19, 2023 by

by Norman Lewis, spiked:

From South Africa to Australia, the oldest hatred is making a terrifying comeback.

The anti-Semitism that drove Hamas’s 7 October pogrom has reverberated around the world. The oldest hatred is making a grim comeback, far beyond the Middle East.

Ugly scenes of Jews being mobbed have recently blighted Australia. Last week, around 150 Jewish congregants of the Central Shule synagogue in Melbourne were forced to abandon their worship when over a hundred ‘pro-Palestine’ protesters descended on their Shabbat service. When at least 80 pro-Israel counter-protesters turned up to defend the synagogue, 30 police officers were needed to separate the two sides.

The initial protest was supposed to be peaceful. It was organised in response to a fire that broke out at a local burger bar called Burgatory, which is owned by a Palestinian Australian. Victoria Police have said that while the fire could be the result of criminal intent, they are ‘confident’ it was neither politically nor racially motivated. But that didn’t stop the Islamic Council of Victoria and various pro-Palestine groups putting out the word that the fire was ‘an intentional act, amounting to a hate crime against [the owner] as a Palestinian and a Muslim’. A protest was then organised by the Free Palestine Melbourne group.

After gathering outside the burned-out burger joint, protesters then marched down the road towards the synagogue. When they arrived, some among the crowd prayed and chanted ‘Allahu Akbar’. There were also chants of ‘From the river to the sea’ – a coded call for the destruction of Israel. Others shouted anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs. This was a dark moment for Australia.

In Sydney, the next day, there was an equally disturbing incident. A pro-Palestine motorbike convoy headed towards Coogee, the suburb with Sydney’s largest Jewish community. The motorcade was led by organiser Zaky Mallah, the first Australian to ever be charged for terrorism offences. ‘There is no doubt in my mind that this [route] was chosen to intimidate’, the local MP rightly noted. Only the intervention of around 100 Israel supporters managed to stop the convoy from reaching its destination.

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