Jewish man in Sydney ‘very lucky’ to be alive after alleged antisemitic attack

Police investigate physical assault in park where 44-year-old victim says he was surrounded and beaten by pro-Palestinian crowd.

Police watch as protesters march during a pro-Palestinian rally in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023. (The Times of Israel: AP/Mark Baker)
Police watch as protesters march during a pro-Palestinian rally in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023. (The Times of Israel: AP/Mark Baker)

(THE TIMES OF ISRAEL) Sydney police are investigating an alleged antisemitic attack against a 44-year-old Jewish man by a crowd of pro-Palestinian supporters late last month, which the victim said he felt lucky to have escaped alive.

Sky News Australia reported Wednesday that the unidentified man was at a children’s playground at a suburb in south Sydney and came upon a poster for a pro-Palestinian rally that had already taken place. The poster was half-torn down and the man tore down the rest, according to the report.

Another man in the playground saw him do this, approached to ask if he supported Israel, and then became threatening, the report said. “I will murder you,” the suspect reportedly said.

The Jewish man phoned the police but he found himself surrounded by an angry crowd of men and women yelling insults, and then he was hit in the head and fell to the ground, according to the report.

Three men proceeded to kick and punch the victim, according to the report, yelling slurs such as “pro-Jew dog.”

A passerby called the police but by the time officers arrived, the attackers had fled. Police have asked witnesses to come forward and are analyzing CCTV footage from the area, according to the report.

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters gathered at the Sydney Opera House, which was planned to be illuminated in the colors of the Israeli flag following the weekend Hamas attack on Israel, while police advised the Jewish community to stay away in Sydney, New South Wales, on October 9, 2023. (The Times of Israel: AP/Rick Rycroft)

The victim was hospitalized for four days with injuries such as fractures to his spine, facial injuries and a concussion.

He told Sky News Australia that he felt “very lucky” to be alive.

News of the attack came a day  after a Jewish man in Los Angeles died after being struck in the head by a pro-Palestinian protester with a megaphone, then fell to the ground bleeding.

Police briefly detained a suspect in the death of 69-year-old Paul Kessler but released him after questioning and have not made any arrests in the case, local officials said on Tuesday.

Antisemitic incidents have been surging across the world since October 7, when thousands of Hamas terrorists infiltrated southern Israel via land, air and sea in a shock assault and killed some 1,400 people, mostly civilians, amid horrible acts of cruelty and brutality.

Terrorists also took some 240 people as hostages, including dozens of children. Israel responded by declaring war on the terror group and and has vowed to destroy Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip.

Massive pro-Palestinian demonstrations have been staged nationwide, calling to “free Palestine” and force a ceasefire on Israel. At one such protest in Sydney, the pro-Palestinian protesters chanted “gas the Jews,” prompting a police investigation.

Other antisemitic incidents have been recorded worldwide including in France where a Jewish woman was stabbed at her home in Lyon, and her door had been graffitied with a large swastika. Police are treating the attack as attempted murder.

Also in France, prosecutors are investigating the daubing of dozens of Stars of David on buildings around Paris and its suburbs in late October, seen as threatening Jews. In another nearby town of Saint-Ouen, they were accompanied by inscriptions such as “Palestine will overcome.”

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