Jewish leaders condemn 'anti-Semitic' attack


Australia's Jewish community is calling for more national action against racism - following an alleged anti-Semitic attack in Sydney.

Four men and a woman were injured after a group of males allegedly made anti- Semitic comments to them, assaulting them as they walked home.

CCTV footage shows the brawl that ensued as eight people attacked a group returning from a Jewish Sabbath dinner.

Five people were taken to hospital, with concussions and broken bones.

One - a man in his 60s - also suffered bleeding to his brain.

"Its' always shocking and disappointing when they occur", Peter Wertheim of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry told SBS.

Two teenagers and a 23 year old man were arrested at the scene.

The rest managed to flee.

The victims say the attack was racially motivated-- in an area that boasts one of Australia's largest Jewish communities.

"We're not scared to walk in the street as a Jew", Rebbi Eli Feldman said.

"I wear this (traditional dress) garb down Bondi Road, and very rarely is there a problem. We're very comfortable in this country and it's a tribute to Australia."

Peter Wertheim has personally thanked those who leapt to the group's defence before police arrived.

While he agrees attacks like this are rare - Australia's anti-racism measures need to be bolstered.

I think there needs to be a targetted approach to education in their early teens when they're suseptible to family prejudice and peer group pressure.

"I have to say there is always a substrata of racial prejudice that exists in Australian society, as probably everywhere in the world. Australia is probably a more tolerant place than most others."

Source SBS Staff

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