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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 22 Mar 2019 07:11 PM and ends Sat 23 Mar 2019 08:09 PM
י"ג טבת ה' אלפים תשס"ט
John Searle, president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, the peak body of Victorian Jewry, said today: “Yesterday unknown persons desecrated a memorial in Caulfield Park with pro-Palestine graffiti. This memorial is dedicated to the citizens of Caulfield who died serving Australia in both World Wars.
What makes this act even more reprehensible is that it occurred in a week when a Jewish Australian soldier was killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. This young man died in the fight for democratic values and freedom from extremism, just like those whom the memorial honours. These are the very same values that Israel’s citizens embody in their struggle against Hamas, Hezbollah and their Iranian masters.
As the majority of Melbourne’s Jewish population is located in Caulfield, it is fair to assume that this graffiti was aimed at them. It is the latest in a series of intimidatory actions against Victorian Jewry presumably related to the current Middle East conflict. These include acts of physical and verbal aggression to persons and property, not against Israel, but against citizens of Australia.
As local Jews have no influence on Israeli policy – and nor should they – such actions cannot be seen as fair political protest or comment, but as hate crimes against Jews. Even more to the point, these vile acts are not only aimed at Victorian Jews; quite simply, they are a rejection of the ethics of the multicultural society in which we take such pride.
All fair-minded Australians must recognise this and raise their voices in protest. As for those cowards who violated this tribute to brave defenders of Australian values, they should hang their heads in shame.”
Please direct any enquiries to John Searle on 0412 251 344 or Geoffrey Zygier on 0413 731 545.