A crowd of mostly Muslim pro-Palestine protestors gathered near the Sydney Opera House in Australia Monday night, chanting “Gas the Jews.” The demonstration comes after Hamas terrorists attacked Israel over the weekend, killing more than 800 people and wounding thousands more.
A video of the roughly 2,000-person protest shared on social media shows the crowd chanting remarks against Jews, including “gas the Jews” and “f-ck the Jews.”
According to The Daily Mail, local police allowed Monday night’s pro-Palestinian protestors outside of the Sydney Opera House to chant violence against the Jews and burn the Star of David; however, local police arrested a pro-Israeli protestor for attempting to raise an Israeli flag.
Daily Mail Australia reporters noted that at one point, a large crowd of pro-Palestinian protestors attempted to set an Israeli flag on fire with firecrackers prior to stomping on the flag and shredding it in public. The Daily Mail reported chants of “Allahu Akbar” (translated as “God is great” in Arabic) and “death to the Jews” from Muslim protestors.
Monday’s protest was organized by the Palestine Action Group Sydney. The rally began at the town hall in the Central Business District before protestors marched to the Opera House, which was lit up in blue and white to show support for Israel after the devastating attacks by Hamas over the weekend killed hundreds of civilians.
While the leaders of Monday’s rally reportedly urged protestors to show respect to the police, multiple protestors were seen swarming the police barrier outside of the Sydney Opera House. More than 100 law enforcement officers were present at the rally. However, the police did not respond with force, even as Muslim protestors threw flares and other objects at the police.
On the other hand, the Daily Mail reported that a man carrying an Israeli flag was arrested by police officers for “disrupting the peace” before he had the opportunity to raise the flag.
In the video, Businessman Mark Spiro can be seen dragged away from the rally by three police officers. Spiro can be heard repeatedly stating, “I’ve done nothing wrong.”
In response to Spiro’s repeated comments, one of the officers told the businessman, “You’ve been arrested in relation to a breach of the peace.”
According to The Daily Mail, New South Wales Attorney General Michael Daley acknowledged Tuesday morning that he had not been aware of Monday’s protest. He later urged people to “calm down and stay at home.”
New South Wales Premier Chris Minns noted Tuesday that he “deplored” Monday’s anti-Israeli rally, describing the rally as standing “against the tenets of our multicultural community.”
In the aftermath of Monday’s rally, Australian police are facing mounting criticism for allowing the anti-Israeli rally to proceed while urging Jewish residents to “stay home.”
Co-CEO of the Executive Australian Council of Jewry Alex Ryvchin stated, “I think it’s frankly disgusting to have people coming out in support of the horrific atrocities that we’ve seen in Israel – over 700 people killed, there are accounts of gang rape, of children snatched from the hands of their parents.”
Ryvchin added, “And people in our own country think that is a cause to rally and celebrate and cheer. Then we saw the scenes of violence, of burning of flags, of chanting explicitly about Jews, not just about Israel. It’s really terrifying to hear that we have people who hold these sentiments here in our homeland.”