If you are a Jew of any age anywhere in the world you are a close relation of someone who was murdered because they were Jewish. It’s not a debating point or the premise of some syllogistic argument. It is just a fact. If Jews are reluctant to find anti-semitic statements made in public just part of the give and take in the discourse within a free society, well you might see why that is. The lashing together of free speech arguments with the refusal of Bondi Council to authorise the building of a synagogue because radical Islamists might blow the place up is a very long bow that adds nothing at all to the free speech debate. Changing the law to permit Jews to be subject to racial abuse is not a defence of “human rights”. And if those who would like to see the end of 18C say that it is, it will become a lot harder to defend free speech if no sanctions are available to prevent racial vilification in public of people who have no means to defend themselves.
But that is what Janet Albrechtsen has now said in her latest article: Terror beats common sense at Bondi.
That’s the conundrum for Jewish leaders. They were public opponents of reforming section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, a law that strikes at the heart of freedom of expression in Australia. Their vocal opposition was enough to send then prime minister Tony Abbott into a meek retreat, ditching an election promise to defend freedom of speech. But those who walk away from freedom of expression inevitably make it easier for others to sideline freedoms, too.
So let me pluck from the comments a number that express what I think myself.
Unfortunately the banning of the Synagogue in Bondi goes far beyond free speech, freedom of expression and freedom of religion. The core reason for the banning is not fear of terrorism this is just an excuse. Rather this is a deeply racist, it is a blatantly racist decision. The hard left like the Waverly Council and large sections of the judiciary simply hate the Jews. They don’t like them, they don’t recognise Israel’s right to exist, they hate their conservative views on life, they are pro Muslim, they don’t want Jews in Bondi. Sadly they want to get rid of the Jews.
This is capitulation to bullying and totalitarianism. We don’t want you here, not because you are doing anything wrong, but because criminals and thugs might object. It also seems to be the way the world is headed. And the central targets are the Jews, Western Civilisation and Christians.
Waverley Council, have always been left wingers. I would suggest this is more about sympathy with Palestine and the Terrorists, HAMAS, then support for a democratic country, like Israel, a country trapped within a sea of madness. Australian Jews have every right to build their house of worship, a temple to God. What is more peaceful then that, a place built to help people through trauma, to keep their faith, to pray for their dead, a place of love and faith, not a place of terror. The council has overstepped the mark, and taken control to a sinister new meaning. I am Catholic, and I support my Jewish fellow Australians.