Australia: Anti-Semitic attack at Bondi Beach shocks Jewish community in Sydney


The five victims were returning home from a Jewish Sabbath dinner at Australia's iconic Bondi Beach when they were set upon by a group of eight men.


Marianna Massey

The victims of a vicious anti-Semitic attack in Australia called Monday for the assailants to be brought to justice.

A group of eight men attacked five adults as they walked home from a Jewish Sabbath dinner at Bondi Beach in Sydney on Friday night.

The victims, including a 62-year-old woman, suffered injuries including a fractured cheekbone, broken nose, concussion, cuts and bruises.

They have been released from hospital.

‘‘People should be free to walk the streets in safety, without fear of being attacked because of the colour of their skin or the race to which they belong,” the victims said in a statement released by the Jewish Board of Deputies, which represents the Jewish community. 

‘‘Our objective at this time is not vengeance, but justice and concern. We want justice to be done in regard to the perpetrators. And we are concerned about the need for the education of future generations about the importance of goodwill and tolerance, and the need for society to embrace those concepts.”

Police have so far charged two teenage boys and a 23-year-old man over the brutal attack. Five of the alleged perpetrators are still at large and police have called on the public to help identify them.  

Witnesses said they heard the men yell anti-Semitic slurs at the victims, who were from two families. A security guard from a nearby hotel intervened in the attack and a taxi driver helped to catch one of the alleged offenders.

The Jewish community expressed shock and outrage at the incident.

“Who would have believed something like that could happen in Australia,” Jewish National Fund Executive director Ygal Shapir was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying.

Executive Council of Australian Jewry President Peter Wertheim told the same newspaper that the attack “appeared to be the most serious incident of spontaneous anti-Semitic violence in Australia in living memory.”