Members of Sydney’s Jewish community received a disturbing warning on Monday, urging them to remain at home while supporters of the Palestinian group Hamas marched through the city’s Central Business District, ultimately converging at the iconic Opera House.
Alert from the Australian Jewish Association
David Adler, the President of the Australian Jewish Association, revealed that an email was circulated among Sydney’s Jewish community, cautioning them to steer clear of the city center and the Opera House.
The warning was prompted by concerns over potential confrontations and threats to their safety during the Palestinian demonstration.
A Strained Situation
Adler shared that a few Jewish individuals who arrived early at the protest site with Israeli flags were taken into police custody. Their identification as Jewish seemed to have put them at risk.
The Organizers and Their Demands
The Palestine Action Group Sydney, a pro-Palestinian advocacy group, organized the Sydney rally.
Their primary demand was for Australia to sever its ties with Israel while encouraging supporters to protest in solidarity with Palestine.
A Grim Weekend in Israel
The rally followed a weekend marked by an unprecedented Hamas terrorist attack on Israel, which resulted in a substantial loss of Israeli lives. The devastating events received global attention and condemnation.
Protesters and Their Messages
Participants in the rally carried Palestinian flags, donned black, white, red, and green attire, and brandished banners with slogans like “Apartheid, wrong in South Africa, wrong in Palestine” and “Free Palestine.”
These symbols and messages resonated deeply with the demonstrators.
Confrontations and Detentions
As the march commenced, an Israel supporter was swiftly apprehended and taken into custody by the police, evidence of the volatile atmosphere.
Calls for Resistance
During the rally, activist and academic Fahad Ali, speaking from the Sydney Town Hall gathering point, called on the crowd to “resist the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”
His passionate speech aimed to galvanize support for the Palestinian cause.
A Long Struggle
Ali highlighted the enduring Palestinian struggle, which has lasted for 75 years, during which their rights to life and liberty have been consistently denied.
He also decried the occupation by what he called a colonial regime responsible for a litany of atrocities.
Demonstrations in Full Swing
Amid the speeches and chants, protesters unfurled Palestinian flags, reflecting their solidarity with the Palestinian people. The rally drew hundreds of attendees, each eager to voice their support for the cause.
Message of Support
At the Opera House, the protesters arranged candles to spell out “Free Palestine.” They set off flares, creating a visual spectacle supporting their message.
Reports surfaced that both Israel and Jews were subjected to abuse during the rally, a disheartening development that added to the tensions of the event.
The timing of the march was aligned with the state government’s decision to illuminate the Opera House in blue and white, the colors of the Israeli flag, to express solidarity with Jewish community groups in New South Wales.
National Support for Israel
The gesture extended beyond Sydney, with other Australian landmarks, including Parliament House in Canberra, also lit up in blue and white to support Israel, highlighting a broader show of solidarity.
The clash of opinions and the charged atmosphere in Sydney are evidence of the deep-rooted divisions surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the significant role played by communities in the diaspora during such tumultuous times.
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Source : breitbart