SYDNEY (EJP)–Five Jews were attacked at a popular beach town near Sydney over the weekend in what is described as the worst anti-Semitic assault in Australia in years.
According to police, four men and a woman were walking along the street in Bondi beach after a Sabbath eve meal, when eight young males began shouting anti-Semitic comments, including ‘’Bloody Jews’’, towards them before attacking the victims.
The five were taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney and suffered injuries including a fractured cheekbone, broken nose, concussion, lacerations and bruising. One man, who is in his sixties, suffered serious internal head injuries. According to Israel’s television, he is in critical condition.
Hospital spokesman David Faktor said that they were attacked because they were Jewish.
One of the victims, Jewish National Fund emissary Shlomo Ben-Chaim, told Israel radio: “They started yelling ‘dirty Jews’ at us and then they just assaulted us. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”
Police said that attackers fled the scene, but they arrested three men, two 17-year-olds, and a 23-year-old near the scene. The two teenagers were charged with affray – fighting or terrorizing people in a public place – and breach of bail. They were refused bail and will appear in children’s court.
The 23-year-old was charged with affray and granted bail.
The manager of a nearby hotel said that six of his employees rushed to offer assistance to the victims, managing to stop some of the attackers from fleeing the scene until police arrived.
Australian Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull called for zero tolerance of racism following the attack.’’Violence of this kind and, in particular, racist violence, anti-Semitic violence, is completely unacceptable in our society,’’ he said.
“Maybe in Germany in the 1930s and Russia in the 1970s but, certainly in Sydney, Australia, Bondi, you just don’t expect an unprovoked attack,’’ he added.