During the eleven day conflict between Israel and Hamas, which saw Hamas fire over 4,300 rockets at Israel, thousands attended “Free Palestine” protests across Australia where anti-Semitism, blood libels and support for terrorist organizations were on full display, reported the Australian Jewish News.
The demonstrations, such as the ones that took place in Melbourne and Sydney, saw protestors chanting “Out, out Israel out,” “Gaza, Gaza, don’t you cry, Palestine will never die” and waving signs with banners such as “One Holocaust doesn’t justify another,” “The whole Palestine is occupied and must be reversed,” “Free Palestine - from the river to the sea.” There were also banners equating Zionism with Nazism. A young girl held a sign saying “Israeli is killing children like me,” among other signs signs accusing Israel of ethnic cleansing.
At the Sydney rally, an Israeli flag with a swastika replacing the Star of David was attached to a protestor’s back. There were also Hezbollah flags being flown.
“As appalled as we are by these public displays, they should serve to educate the public on what the anti-Israel movement represents and what their ultimate goals are: to destroy Jewish life, Jewish equality, and the Jewish national home,” Alex Ryvchin, co-CEO of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, told the Australian Jewish News.
Colin Rubenstein, the executive director of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, said that it was obvious that the rallies were not about “peace or justice” as the organizers claimed.
“The themes of the rallies were that Israel should not have a right to self-defence and that Israel, as a Jewish state, should be destroyed,” he told the Australian Jewish News, noting that the rallies were full of comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany and the promotion of a “litany of distortions of history and of current events.”